Yunxiang Temple is also known as Liuyun Buddhist Temple. It is located at one of the edges of the Nanxiang Old Street. The temple has a very long history – being originally built in the fourth year of Tianjian during the reign of the Liang of the Southern Dynasty (505). Per recorded history I saw in the temple – during the Kaicheng reign of the Tang Dynasty (AD 618 -907), the land area of the temple was expanded to 12 hectares and it had more than 700 monks.
It was renamed apparently in 1700, with an inscription from Emperor Kangxi in the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911). It was destroyed in a fire, with only the Double Temple, Shijing Streamer and Shita Temple left. After the original Beihe Nanxiang Temple was burnt, a new temple was built in 2004 near the original site. The new temple, however, is still gorgeous with magnificent buildings – a very rare group of Tang-style buildings in the south of China.
The temple is located at 100 Renmin Road, Nanxiang Town, Jiading District. Take Line 11 to Nanxiang Station (if you reach any of the Jiading stations you have gone too far) – then follow the map (see photo of the Google map) – the temple is a short 25-minute walk from the metro station.
The entrance to the temple requires a ticket – according to the ticket office on every 1st and 15th of the month, the tickets are 2RMB and during the rest of the time 8RMB but yesterday (October 3rd) the tickets were at 2RMB (for adults) as well – score…!
Overall the ticket cost is negligible given the interesting sights and views you will experience. The temple provides an a good glimpse into how much China has changed over the years. When I first came to Shanghai (in 1988!) for an extended period – I stayed for 2.5 years – it would have been very difficult to find a place like this temple and see people actually actively participating in various ceremonies…..
Today, this appears to be a normal act for many…. Given the number of people we say doing everything from a simple prayer to burining elaborate offerings (made out of paper of course).
Prayer for Good Fortunes
It also has become the most popular site during the Spring Festival in Nanxiang as people from all over the city come to pray for a prosperous new year.
Of course, if offering a prayer is not your purpose of visit (as we were) – the temple offers excellent way to just walk around, do some people watching, enjoy the beauty of the architecture and overall find a place to sit down and contemplate….
This posting is a second one in the series about the less traveled part of Shanghai – the town of Nanxiang. The first posting introduced you to the Ancient Yi Garden..