(Last updated on: 28/01/2022)
Shanghai is one of the most beautiful cities in the world – and there is so much to do, see and explore when visiting. Jing’an Temple is just one of a wealth of places to tick off your list in Shanghai. Here’s everything you need to know before you go!
Where is Jing’an Temple?
Jing’an Temple is located in Shanghai, China’s biggest city. It is on the West Nanjing Road in the Jing’an District (named after the temple, rather than the other way around).
Shanghai is the perfect city for a family holiday, solo adventure or romantic break. It has two international airports. One is Pudong International Airport, and the other is Hongqiao International Airport – both have great transport links to the city, where there are plenty of hotels and apartments to use as a base for all the exploring you can do when visiting Shanghai.
Jing’an temple is a 15 minute drive from the Bund, a popular area of Shanghai. From People’s Square, another famous and popular area of Shanghai, the temple is just 10 minutes by car. Bus lines 01, 21,49, 76 and 927 all pass near Jing’an Temple, as do Metro lines 2 and 7.
What is Jing’an Temple?
So, why is Jing’an Temple so special – and why should visit it? It was built way back in 247 AD in the Wu Kingdom, during the Three Kingdoms era of ancient China. However it was moved from its original location (next to the Suzhou Creek) to where it is now, in Jing’an, during the Song Dynasty in 1216. Later rebuilt during the Song Dynasty, it was actually converted into a plastic factory during the Cultural Revolution which lasted from 1966 until 1976. Shortly afterwards, the temple became a temple again (in 1983) and then renovated to include the Jing’An Pagoda which was completed not long ago, in 2010.
BONUS FACT: the temple’s original name was Hudu Chongyuan Temple.
Now you know a bit of history about Jing’an Temple! And it should definitely be on your bucket list when planning a trip to Shanghai, or China as a whole, because it’s beautiful. There is so much to see and admire while you’re there, and it really is an iconic part of the Shanghai cityscape.
Things to see at Jing’an Temple
As mentioned, there is a lot to see at the temple. For 50¥ you can visit the three main halls and really experience what they have to offer – or if you’re pushed for time, the courtyard offers stunning scenery and fantastic photo opportunities. It is generally fairly quiet and peaceful at Jing’an Temple so if the crowds of Shanghai get a bit much for you and your family, it’s worth the 50¥ (which is only around £5) to get out of the hustle and bustle. In fact, the name Jing’an Temple actually translates to The Temple of Peace and Tranquility.
Jing’an Temple is an active Buddhist temple, and visitors are welcome to join the locals in their worship when taking a trip to the temple. The three main halls within Jing’an Temple are the Mahavira Hall, the Hall of Heavenly Kings and the ThreeSage Hall. One of the main draws of the temple is that it is home to mainland China’s largest pure jade Buddha. This is found in the Mahavira Hall.
DID YOU KNOW: the jade Buddha found in the Mahavira Hall is nearly 4 metres high and weighs around 8.9 tonnes.
There is a shrine in the courtyard where you can burn sticks or paper, and throw coins for good luck – children particularly seem to enjoy this feature of Jing’an Temple. The Exhibition Hall of Buddhist Relics is a great eye-opener into Buddhist history and allows you to see some amazing artefacts, detailed calligraphy and incredible paintings. The exhibition hall is home to a very important bronze bell from the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644).
Things to do near Jing’an Temple
When you visit Jing’an Temple you’ll notice that it is surrounded by skyscrapers and modern buildings, a visual display of how much Shanghai has changed over the centuries. There are loads of things to see and do in the nearby area, and here are some ideas on how to spend the day in Jing’an while visiting Shanghai…
The Shanghai Natural History Museum is located in Jing’an. It is one of the biggest museums of natural science in the whole of China, and features 10 permanent exhibitions. Some of these are the Way of Evolution, Mankind and Geology, Diverse Ecologies, and the Shanghai Story. The museum as purpose-built at a site which is both environmentally friendly and very technologically advanced. It is in the shape of a green spiral shell.
The museum is actually located in the famous Jing’an Sculpture Park. Kids and adults alike absolutely love the sculpture park, which is exactly what you’d imagine to be: a park filled with sculptures. These include Ostrich Hide and Seek, Urban Fox, Large Parrot Screams Color and Girouette Monumentale. Admire the sculptures, snap some photographs, walk around the park or simply sit down and relax!
Yanzhong Greenbelt is a relatively new park, built in the last 15 years. You can find it at the intersection of the Jing’an, Huangpu and Luwan districts covering nearly 35,000 square metres. For people watching, ponds, bamboo and more, this park is lovely to explore.
Places to eat near the temple
If you get a bit peckish after your visit to Jing’an Temple, check out the food at some of these places…
- Bali Laguna is an Indonesian restaurant in the middle of Jing’an Park. For curries, stays, a relaxing environment and beautiful location, head here! The prices are reasonable too.
- Mustache serves Spanish and Italian food, so if you’re after a bit of Western cuisine then head here. The ham platter comes highly recommended!
- Share Dope is an oyster bar with a supercar theme, offering amazing Canadian oysters and an extensive wine list. There is indoor and outdoor seating, too.
So there’s everything you need to know about Jing’an Temple. It is easily one of the best things to see in Shanghai, and should definitely be on your list when planning a trip.