it was time to pay homage to Buddha.
We were headed for the Jade Buddha Temple, one of the most popular in the city for both tourists and worshippers alike. David reassured us that photos were welcome throughout the temple with the exception of the Jade Buddha itself.
The visitors to this temple were rather different from those in the temples we’ve visited recently. Here, they were an altogether younger crowd, possibly reflecting the demographic of the city itself as much as the temple community specifically.
This was a haven of peace in a busy, busy world outside. In the warmth of the afternoon, the traffic outside seemed a world away, as we followed David to the first floor to see the treasure that was the Jade Buddha.
IT was indeed a very beautiful Buddha, in female form, closely guarded by three young women dressed identically in matching anoraks. Though we’re enjoying the warmth of a Spring day, people here are still wrapped up for the winter and even the police have cute furry collars to their uniform.
The little courtyards were attractive but of course, there wasn’t time to linger. From time to time we caught a fleeting glimpse of a monk here or there, though David had told us that these young men were “undergraduate monks” and were likely to be using an iphone, too!
Inside the main building, there were a range of Buddhas to approach, all with varying expressions.
The main figure – another female form – was situated behind a screen of long embroidered panels and yes, of course, those interested me as much as the Buddha him(her) self.
Actually, the whole frieze was a gathering of all kinds of figures and in the same way as a stained glass window can offer all kinds of visual prompts and illustration, these characters could tell any number of stories.
I’m none too familiar with tales of the Buddhist religion, but if I were, I’m sure I could identify many of them here.
For now, let’s admire the lovely embroidered kneelers – a little different in style to those in an English parish church, of course.
The stitched hangings which frame the main Buddha figure
and the “lanterns” which are so colourful and stitched in such an attractive palette.
Actually, even the rubbish bin with discarded packaging from the incense sticks and suchlike was a colourful and interesting arrangement!
The afternoon sun and the haze of the incense had also been a little headache inducing, so in the fifteen minutes we had to spare, a couple of us escaped into the side street, where life was going on in much the same way as it always had, I imagine.
We were pleased to rejoin our party and head back towards the Pudong again, for the last hour of the day.
The “international flag” was still flying here and there!
We joined a few Shanghainese on the promenade of the Pudong, and enjoyed a stroll along the riverside. What a lovely afternoon it was.
The sellers of this and that were out in force
as was the McDonalds ice cream wagon! Cheers, Ellis..how kind!
Actually, the last stop of the day was the Jin Mao tower. Hadn’t we been there before? Well, yes, we had actually, so whilst a couple of our party went up to the 88th floor, we decided to forego the opportunity to make a third visit up there and instead, paid a visit to a familiar venue in an unfamiliar setting
We’d had a really wonderful day and enjoyed a half hour together reviewing where we’d been and what we’d seen. All were unanimous.
We love Shanghai!