Add:2853 Longhua Rd
Time:Daily 7am - 5pm
Credit Cards Accepted
English Service Available
Longhua Temple is the largest and most complete Buddhist architecture in Shanghai and it’s a magnet for Lunar New Year’s Eve bell tolling and celebration.Every New Year’s Day people hang their wishes, written on red paper, in branches of a massive tree — the higher you manage to toss your wish, the better the chances of its coming true.The temple in Xuhui District is also known for a three-day temple fair in spring. It falls on the third day of the third lunar month, putting it in April. Peach trees in Longhua Temple are in bloom and dragons are said to visit on that day to make wishes come true.
The lively fair features food of all kinds, performances, acrobatics, traditional crafts and other attractions. It is said the temple was first built in AD 242 by Sun Quan, the king of the Wu Kingdom (AD 222-280). Over the years it was destroyed and rebuilt several times. It was devastated the first time by war in the Tang Dynasty (AD 618-907) and reconstructed in AD 977 during the Song Dynasty (960-1279). Most of the present-day buildings were reconstructed in the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911). One of the better preserved is the reconstructed Song-style monastery of the Buddhist Chan sect. It is known as the Sangharama Five-Hall Style.
The temple has five main halls, including Maitreya Hall, Heavenly King Hall, Grand Hall of the Great Sage, Three Sages Hall and Abbot’s Hall. The Sutras-Keeping Hall (behind the Abbot’s Hall) contains many sutras, relics and treasures. In front of the temple stands Longhua Pagoda and the Bell Tower is nearby. The pagoda has been rebuilt several times but the Song Dynasty style remains. The wood and brick pagoda is 40.4 meters high, with seven stories and eight sides. It has turned-up eaves and is strung with bells. It is not open to the public because it can be easily damaged by tourist traffic. The Bell Tower houses a bronze bell that weighs more than 3 tons. On Lunar New Year’s Eve, it is struck 108 (auspicious number) times in the evening bell-striking ceremony. The event is very popular.
Down an outer corridor is a vegetarian restaurant serving only vegetarian noodles. Jade trinkets and souvenirs are on sale inside and outside the temple.
How to Get There: Metro Line 3 (at Longcao Road station) or buses No. 41, 44, 809, 734, 933, 864, 73, 87, 104 and 166.