Chénxiānggé Nunnery

sights / Religious

Chénxiānggé Nunnery information

Location
Shànghǎi , China
Address
29 Chenxiangge Rd; 沉香阁路29号
Getting there
Metro: Yuyuan Garden
Prices
admission ¥10
Opening hours
7am-5pm
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Sheltering a community of dark-brown-clothed nuns from the Chénhǎi (Sea of Dust) – what Buddhists call the mortal world, but which could equally refer to Shànghǎi’s murky atmosphere – this lovely yellow-walled temple is a tranquil refuge. At the temple rear, the Guanyin Tower guides you upstairs to a glittering effigy of the male-looking goddess within a resplendent gilded cabinet.

Carved from chénxiāng wood (Chinese eaglewood) and seated in lalitasana posture, head tilted and with one arm resting on her leg, this version is a modern copy – the original disappeared during the Cultural Revolution.

At the front, the Hall of Heavenly Kings (天王殿; Tiānwáng Diàn) envelops four gilded Heavenly Kings (each belonging to a different compass point) and a slightly androgynous form of Maitreya. Muttered prayers and chanted hymns fill the Great Treasure Hall (大雄宝殿; Dàxióng Bǎodiàn), where a statue of Sakyamuni (Buddha) is flanked by two rows of nine luóhàn (arhat).