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Jade Buddha Temple in Shanghai is an active temple, with 70 resident monks living and working there at the last count.
The temple was built between 1911 and 1918 in the style of the Song Dynasty (960-1279), with symmetrical halls and courtyards, upturned eaves, and bright saffron yellow walls, making it readily identifiable.
Inside, the centerpiece is a 1.9-meter-high white jade Buddha, which was installed after a monk brought it from Burma to Zhejiang Province in 1882. This seated Buddha, encrusted with jewels, is said to weigh about one thousand kilograms.
A smaller, reclining Buddha from the same shipment lies on a redwood bed. In the large hall there are three gold-plated Buddhas, and other halls house ferocious-looking deities. There are many other artifacts, and some 7,000 Buddhist sutras line the walls.
Alongside the temple is a branch of the Antiques and Curio Store, which sells miniature sandalwood drums and gongs, replicas of the large ones used in ceremonies.
Based on the culinary system of Buddhist temples, the vegetarian restaurant at Jade Buddha Temple combines it with the cooking techniques of Shanghai cuisine.
There are over 80 kinds of delicately made vegetarian dishes available. Some dishes are made to look and taste like meat, but are 100% vegetarian. Noodles and wontons are the restaurant’s specialties. It also offers take-away vegetarian food.
The tranquil and elegant restaurant has a strong Buddhist atmosphere.
Price: 30-100 yuan per person