Jade Buddha Temple (Yu Fo Temple)






PUTUO - Changshou Road


Jade Buddha Temple (Yu Fo Temple) 玉佛寺 is one of Shanghai's three major Buddhist temples that represent the city's religious culture of Buddhism. The temple is located on Anyuan Road, in Putuo district, and houses two revered jade Buddha statues within its historic spiritual temple. 

Jade Buddha Temple is considered an exception to traditional temple rules, which state that statues of the Buddha should be enshrined after the establishment of a monastery.

The two Buddha statues belonging to Jade Buddha Temple were initially brought to Shanghai from Myanmar in 1899, by Chinese monk Hui Gen 慧根 who was on his way to returning to Mount Putuo from a pilgrimage to India.

Hui Gen was deeply fascinated by the jade carvings he saw in Myanmar during his pilgrimage, and decided to bring back some Buddha statues for his own monastery. He managed to raise funds from Chinese residents living in Maynmar at the time, and after carefully selecting the raw jade for the statues, he commissioned the carving job to a local master.

There were a total of five jade Buddha statues delivered by the master. When Hui Gen stopped by Shanghai on his way back to Mount Putuo, he left two of them in Shanghai as he was impressed by the piety of Shanghai's Buddhist followers, and so, he carried the remaining three back to Mount Putuo.

After receiving the Buddha statues from Hui Gen, Shanghai's Buddhists and monks started to build a monastery nearby Jiang Wan Railway Station to enshrine the statues, and it was in the next year, 1900, that the temple was established and named Yu Fo Si (Jade Buddha Temple), its first abbot was Hui Gen.

Sadly in 1918, severe destruction caused by armed conflicts necessitated the rebuilding of the monastery, therefore, the abbot in charge at the time - Ke Cheng 可成 started to look for a vacant plot of land to build the new temple. Finally, it was decided to build the new temple on Anyuan Road where it remains to this day. It took a total of 10 years to complete the construction. The monastery of Jade Buddha Temple covers 1.3 hectares with over 200 rooms designed for a variety of different functions.

In 2014, another significant renovation project of Jade Buddha Temple was launched, after which the entire Grand Hall and Heavenly King Hall had been moved northwards by 30.66m. Additionally, in order to strengthen the structure, concrete bases were added underneath the temple by applying cutting-edge techniques.

The main buildings spread along the temple's north-south axis are the Grand Hall, the Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva Hall, and the Heavenly King Hall; the wing buildings are the Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva Hall, Samantabhadra Bodhisattva Hall, Manjusri Bodhisattva Hall, Sangharama Bodhisattva Hall, Reclining Buddha Statue Hall, Bhaisajyaguru Hall, Cintamai-Cakra Hall, and Pure Land Buddhas Hall. In addition, there is an independent building lying on the north inside the temple, the "Juequn Building" that is a complex comprising lecture classrooms and a staff dining hall.

A visit to one of Shanghai's remaining spiritual refuges is sure to be a highlight of your trip. As it is a working monastery, you may also observe monks chanting and witness one of their Buddhist ceremonies. If you also want to try some delicious vegetarian food as a way to experience a bit of a monk's way of life, you can visit the Jade Buddha Temple Vegetarian Restaurant which is hidden behind the monastery.

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Venue Details
  • Jade Buddha Temple (Yu Fo Temple)

    No.170 Anyuan Road, by Jiangning Road


    31.241442 121.445354


    PriceCNY 20/person

    CardsOnly cash

    HoursDaily 8am-4:30pm


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