Jade Buddha Temple

Home to two priceless Burmese jade statues, it was built during the Qing Dynasty.

TravelCurious Tip

It can get extremely busy in February, during the Lunar New Year, so time your visit accordingly!

The Jade Buddha Temple was founded in 1882 with two jade Buddha statues that were imported to Shanghai from Burma. They were sent by Chen Jun-Pu, a wealthy Chinese resident in Burma during the reign of the Guangxu Emperor in the Qing dynasty. The larger statue is two metres tall, weighs a staggering three tones and depicts a sitting Buddha; the smaller one is a reclining Buddha that represents the Buddha’s final moments.

The original temple was destroyed, but the statues were saved and a new temple was built around them in 1928. Upon entering the temple the first sight on your left is the Hall of Heavenly Kings, containing statues of the eponymous kings who each look upon the four cardinal points. Opposite is the Grand Hall, where thousands of worshippers pray to the Buddha — past, present and future. On the other side of the Grand Hall is a serene courtyard, where stairs spirit you up to the Jade Buddha Hall.

Photographs of the Buddha statues are not permitted, so you will have to see for yourself. It is worth it. These statues are not only cultural relics but also exquisite artworks. Both are carved from whole white jade, encrusted with agate and emerald, and they are resplendent. You don’t have to be a Buddhist to appreciate them; far from it. The statues and their remarkable setting makes for a peaceful and transcendent idyll in Shanghai, a very modern and thrilling city.

Nearby Attractions

See all attractions in Shanghai
People's Square
This spectacular space in the heart of the city is a hub of activity.
Shanghai Museum
The museum has over 120,000 pieces of ancient chinese art and is arranged in line with Feng Shui principles,
Sheng jian bao
Similar to the Xiao long bao, these dumplings are pan fried and dangerously delicious.
Yellow Wine
This distinctly flavoured traditional Chinese wine is made from fermented rice.
Heavenly Light Lane
Learn more about Shanghai's history here on the first street to have public electronic light in the city.
Grey Gardens
Also known as 'The Secluded Library', these enchanting gardens were built for the Lu family in 1763.

Related Tours

Private Full Day Tour of Shanghai
Known as the ‘Paris of the Orient’, Shanghai is steeped in culture, history and glamour in equal measure. Get to the heart of this fascinating city in our best of Shanghai full day tour.

  • Commence your tour at the iconic Jade Buddha Temple 
  • Take in your tranquil surroundings by People's Square 
  • Venture through Shanghai Old Town, and get lost in Yuyuan Garden 
  • Visit the revered Old City of God Temple 
  • Learn about Shanghai in the 21st century, at Tianzifang
  • Walk along the picturesque Bund 
  • Enjoy a ferry ride across the Huangpu River to the futuristic Pudong on the east
Temple, Museum and The Square

Your day begins at the famous Jade Buddha Temple, home to a priceless collection of jade statues. The temple is designed in the breathtaking architectural style of the Song Dynasty and is the base of the Shanghai Buddhist Institute. Continue on to People’s Square. This beautiful green spacer is a hub of daily activity, and you will be surrounded by other well-known attractions, such as the great Shanghai Museum. 

Old Shanghai

Your adventure moves on to Shanghai Old Town and the enchanting Yuyuan Garden. You will see the old style buildings of the Ming and Qing Dynasty and have the chance to stop and try delicious local delicacies recommended by your guide. You will also visit the revered  Old City of God Temple and learn about its statues in Taoism.

Shanghai Today

Move on from the traditional and learn more about Shanghai’s present as you head down to the exciting Tianzifang - the ‘Soho of Shanghai’. Then walk along the most famous landmark, the Bund. From this beautiful waterfront, enjoy a perfect end to your day as you take a ferry ride across the Huangpu River to the futuristic Pudong on the east. 
Private Half-Day Tour of Shanghai
 As China's largest and most affluent city Shanghai is rarely static, a city of mind-blowing proportions and an ever-changing urban footprint. Sky-bound superstructures, gleaming designer malls and sweeping, futuristic bridges characterise this modern megalopolis yet Shanghai - meaning City of The Sea - has a history that spans over a thousand years. On your private guided tour of Shanghai, you will enjoy the old, the new, and everything spanning in between. 
  • Enjoy the quietude of the iconic Jade Buddha Temple built in 1882.
  • Yield to the buzz of the city in leafy People's Square
  • Relish Ming and Qing Dynasty architecture and the hallowed Old City of God Temple 
  • Stroll historic Shanghai Old Town to Yuyuan Garden and the bustling Bazaar 
  • Soak up views across the Huangpu River at the Bund, a waterfront promenade
Beginning life as a tiny fishing village, the city now represents China’s 21st showcase of dynamism in art and design. Upscale apartments, glitzy bars and restaurants overshadow Shanghai’s humble origins. Yet the city owes much to the Yangzi River delta where China's main waterway completes its 5,500-km journey to the Pacific - the trade route on which Shanghai blended East-meets-West culture was born. 

Parts of Shanghai were once independently ruled by British, French, and American colonists and each presence has left its telltale mark on the architectural and societal character of the city. This  contrasting mix of cultures has paved the way for an openness to Western influences found in modern Shanghai. See the ancient and the modern, beginning with the Jade Buddha Temple, a beautiful Song Dynasty-era building flanked by statues. Denoting the geographical heart of the city, leafy People’s Square forms a lively daily hub in the thick of it. In Old Shanghai you see the enchanting Yuyuan Garden and the city’s historic Bazaar amidst a storied building of the Ming and Qing Dynasty. The 15th century Old City of God Temple is a grand place of Taoist worship while the Bund, a mesmerizing 1.5 km esplanade along the Huangpu River, cafés, restaurants and chichi boutiques boast prized views of the Lujiazui skyline.


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