Why is Jade Buddha Temple special?
In 1882, a temple was built to keep two jade Buddha statues which had been brought from Burma by a monk named Huigen. The temple was destroyed during the revolution that overthrew the Qing Dynasty. Fortunately the jade Buddha statues were saved and a new temple was built on the present site in 1928 and named after the jade statues.
The Jade Buddha Temple is a nice site to go whether you are a Buddhist or not; the peaceful and super-natural atmosphere gives you a kind of fullness to your busy life. Moreover, the old-time and classical architectural style makes the temple unique and well worth a visit.
Jade Buddha Temple Highlights
Still inhabited by monks, the temple consists of three main halls and two courtyards.
Tianwang Dian Hall
The first hall is Tianwang Dian Hall, where statues of the four celestial kings and Maitreya are enshrined. It was said that the Maitreya is, in fact, the Budai Monk. In 916, before his death, he had told people that he was the reincarnation of the future Buddha Maitreya. Later, people called him Buddha Maitreya and began to worship him in temples.
Great Shrine Hall (Daxiong Baodian Hall)
The second hall is Daxiong Baodian. Three large gilded Buddha statues: the Buddhas of the past (Bhaisajya-guru), present (Sakyamuni) and future (Maitreya) are kept in the hall. The one in the center is Sakyamuni, east of it is Bhaisajya-guru and west is Maitreya. Eighteen gilded Luohan statues stand around them.
Jade Buddha Hall
Carved with a whole stone of excellent quality, the jade Buddha is from Burma is in Southeast Asian style. To see the statues, you need to pay 10 Yuan, and photographs are not allowed. Besides, in the hall there lies collection of Tripitaka carved in Qing Dynasty.