Renovated main hall of Jade Buddha Temple reopens

The Jade Buddha Temple opened the doors of the renovated Mahavira Hall, which was built around 1918, to worshippers over the weekend. 
Jiang Xiaowei / SHINE

Hundreds of devout Buddhists attend the reopening ceremony of the main pavilion of Jade Buddha Temple over the weekend.

The main pavilion of Shanghai’s Jade Buddha Temple reopened to public over the weekend.

The Mahavira Hall, which was built around 1918, was closed in May 2017 for renovations. It was moved 30.66 meters to the north along with the three huge statues and other cultural heritage inside the hall.

At its new position, the 18.2m-tall pavilion, weighing over 1,000 tons, was raised by just over a meter and underwent major renovation. Its foundation was stabilized and the structure's appearance refurbished.

Jiang Xiaowei / SHINE

A visitor does sketches of the main pavilion of the Jade Buddha Temple during its reopening ceremony.  

"The success of the project marks the near completion of the over three-year renovation campaign of the century-old temple to ensure safety and improve the environment of the temple," said the temple's abbot Juexing.

The temple was originally converted from residential houses whose owner donated it to the temple to house the two jade Buddha sculptures. After renovation, it reflects a more traditional Chinese temple style.

He said work on gilding the three Buddha statues inside the hall would be carried out to protect the historic statues. The statues were gilded in 1982 but the gold covering began to drop off recently.

Ti Gong

Monks work on gilding the three Buddha statues inside the main hall. 

The renovations opened up 500 square meters of space in the main square, doubling its size, for worshipers and visitors to pray.

Previously, the main square was just 495 square meters and was often packed, especially during the Spring Festival and on days like the first and 15th day of each lunar month.

The renovation campaign was launched by the temple in July 2014 after the city’s housing quality watchdog highlighted safety concerns, and pointed out that many buildings across the city have been damaged by insects, warping their structure.

The temple, built in 1882, is one of Shanghai’s most popular attractions, attracting 2 million visitors a year, a third of them from abroad.

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