Yùyuán Gardens & Bazaar
With their shaded alcoves, glittering pools churning with fish, pavilions, pines sprouting wistfully from rockeries, and roving packs of...
Temple of the Town God
Chinese towns traditionally had a Taoist temple of the town god, but many fell victim to periodic upheaval. Originally dating to the...
Mid-Lake Pavilion Teahouse
Next to the entrance to the Yuyuan Gardens is the Mid-Lake Pavilion Teahouse , once part of the gardens and now one of the most famous...
Nánxiáng Steamed Bun Restaurant
Shànghǎi’s most famous dumpling restaurant divides the purists, who love the place, from the younger crowd, who see an overrated tourist...
29 Chenxiangge Rd; 沉香阁路29号 · interesting places nearby
Chénxiānggé Nunnery information
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).