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Our friend Ed is such a trooper. He did not complain one bit, I took him all over Shanghai and I think I have found my favorite place. We went to Longhua Temple, which was one of the places I wanted to visit the most. The above pictures is the pagoda outside the temple, which was built in 240AD according to my guide book but Wikipedia says it was built in 242AD. That was the main reason for my wanting to visit and the 500 buddha room! I can’t believe that I saw something that old.
The entrance to the temple is like most temples I’ve seen in Shanghai as well as Hong Kong. Epic.
I know I have already said this often, but I love observing people in temples and churches. There is so much beauty witnessing the hope and faith of the people who come.
Offerings for the buddha.
More people come to bow.
The 500 Buddha room was amazing. Each Buddha is different and there are just so many of them. It’s really beautiful.
In Buddhism there are four Heavenly Kings who watch over the four directions: North, south, east and west. The above picture is The Eastern King “of Protection for Buddhist Territory in heaven and earth. He is holding a pipa, protecting all living creatures”. (Quotes are from the sign in front of each statue)
“The Southern King of Developing Merit. He is holding a sword in his hand, protecting the Buddhist Law”.
“The Western King of Far Sight. He is holding a dragon in his hand, blessing human beings”.
“The Northern King of Virtue. He is holding an umbrella, protecting human wealth”.
The temple was filled with gorgeous Buddha statues and beautiful decorations all over the rooms. Have a look at the pictures!
Next to the temple was the Longhua Martyrs Cemetery and Park. We walked through it and there were a lot of propaganda statues and the park itself looked fairly new.
This was the center of the park, as we walked through the park, Ed and I felt a heaviness and it was rather depressing. I don’t know if it’s because it’s there to honor the martyrs that died for communism or if it was because it was a rainy day. All I know is that our moods were unusually sad and hearts heavy.
One of the statues in the park.
There was a lot of calligraphy in the park and I wish I knew what it all said.
There was an alternate pathway surrounded by bamboo and it reminded me so much of the movie “House of Flying Daggers”.
The guidebook told us that this was the main attraction in the cemetery. This is the statue of the unknown martyr. I don’t think you can tell from the picture but this statue was HUGE.
The actual cemetery portion had small gravestones and a pebbled walkway between them. It was, again, a sad and heavy feeling.
I think it’s definitely worth a walk through the park after visiting Longhua Temple. We ended up feeling a little down after it but we were glad we went. It’s kind of like the Vietnam Memorial, in the sense that it’s so sad being there but at the same time you see history right before your eyes.
Walking through the park and cemetery made me think of all the men and women who sacrifice their life for their country. They are the bravest, most courageous and selfless people ever. I am so thankful for those currently serving, served and those who lost their lives for the USA.
While our friend Ed has been visiting, I took him around the entire heart of the city. We stopped by the Jade Buddha Temple, I personally love temples because they show the culture and ultimately the hope of those that worship there. If you want to see the sitting jade Buddha, there is an extra fee but it really isn’t that much more.
The temple was filled with people offering incense, bowing, meditation and tourists. We went throughout the whole temple to see what was in store. It was filled with beauty and as I had mentioned before: hope.
Here is one of the buddhas that we saw. Unfortunately, almost every picture I took had a glare and these are the only pictures I took that looked semi ok. And they are all taken with my iPhone!
Ed is impressed with the carvings and yes, they seem to all be Buddhas!
Beautiful and I always wonder what he will do with all those hands. I need to learn more about Buddhism.
We were lucky enough to catch the monks singing and worshiping. It was quite a sight to see and hear. They had instruments and it was beautiful to watch.
These three Buddhas were larger than life. Absolutely amazing.
Some of the temple rooms were lined with these gorgeous statues.
This is only a portion, there were so many more of these Buddha statues in the room.
The same three Buddhas, from a different angle.
I wish that I had better pictures but I am an amateur with picture-taking. It was definitely worth the visit and if you find yourself in Shanghai, I recommend you stop by this temple. My only advice is to watch out for the beggars outside because they will follow you for an entire block. Also, the beggars speak English, they are very multi lingual and will not give up! Just keep walking, get in a cab and get out of there!