Longhua Temple & Pagoda
- 2853 Longhua Rd South Shanghai
- tel, info: 021 6457 6327
- admission Y10
Lonely Planet review for Longhua Temple & Pagoda
Southwest of central Shànghǎi, close to the river, this is the oldest and largest monastery in Shànghǎi. Said to date from the 10th century, it has been much renovated. Lónghuá refers to the pipal tree under which Buddha achieved enlightenment. There are five main halls, starting with the Laughing Buddha Hall. To either side of the entrance are a bell and a drum tower. The temple is famed for its 6500kg bell, which was cast in 1894. There are several side buildings to explore, including the Thousand Luohan Hall, in which is arrayed a huge legion of glittering arhat. A large effigy of Sakyamuni seated on a lotus flower is contained within the main hall – the Great Treasure Hall. Beyond the main hall are a vegetarian restaurant and a further imposing hall – the Sanshengbao Hall – with a golden trinity of Buddhist statues. Opposite the temple entrance rises the much-restored seven-storey, 44m-high Longhua Pagoda, originally built in AD 977. Visitors are not allowed to climb the pagoda, but a sprawl of stalls selling snacks and souvenirs fans out in the vicinity. Across the road is a further complex of fast-food outlets. The best time to visit is during the Longhua Temple Fair, in the third month of the lunar calendar (usually during April or May).