Longhua Temple and Pagoda Tours – Shanghai, China
Longhua Temple and Pagoda
About this place
Longhua Temple and Pagoda was originally built in 247 AD, making it more than 1700 years old and counting. The temple has since been reconstructed time and again as a result of damage caused by many wars. Still, classic Song dynasty stylistic architectural elements remain well preserved. The temple, covering an area of five acres, is the largest in Shanghai, but receives few visitors due to its location on the south side of the city.
However, at certain times each year, the temple teems with tourists and locals alike who make the trip down to witness annual ceremonies.
One notable ceremony takes place on the eve of the Chinese New Year when 108 monks climb the drum tower in the park to usher in the new year. Herds of Chinese Buddhists flock to the temple to burn joss sticks with the hope of bringing luck for the coming year.
A few weeks later, when the park’s beautiful cherry blossom trees begin to bloom, the annual temple fair is held. The event usually begins in early March depending on the lunar calendar. The temple’s grounds come alive as pilgrims, tourists and locals arrive to pay their respects. A normally quiet area suddenly bustles with activity.
Regardless of the time of year, Longhua Temple is worth a visit. For just 10RMB, visitors are treated to a special combination of Buddhist style courtyards, hexagonal windows with classic Chinese elements of beauty. As an added bonus, the temple also boasts its own vegetarian canteen offering delicious fare at a very reasonable price. Longhua Park is just next door to the temple, while the Shanghai Botanical Gardens are down the road. This area of Shanghai makes for a relaxing alternative day trip to the chaos of downtown. For those with little ones, a makeshift amusement park complete with fairground games, wraps itself around the Pagoda juxtaposing new and old China side by side!
Either take a taxi to Longhua Lu/Longshui Bei Lu or metro line 3 to Longcao Lu. From the metro station follow tourist maps for the five minute walk to the temple.
Local bus routes: No. 41, 44, 56, 73, 104, 803, 864.
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