Zhenru Temple

Zhenru Temple

Zhenru Temple, located in the north of Zhentu Town, is an important historical monument under special preservation with an 800-year history. The Temple was built in Jiading era of the Southern Song Dynasty and called Zhenru Yard. It was rebuilt and then renamed Zhenru Temple by Monk Yong An in Jiading era. In the seventh year of the Yanyou era of the Yuan Dynasty (1320), Monk Miao Xin applied for funds to newly build the main hall, which is the oldest timberwork building of the Yuan Dynasty survived in south Yangtze River Area. “The ancient temple remains splendid despite 800 years”. At present, Zhenru Temple covers an area of 20 mu, with a floorage of 8,500 square meters. The scenery in the temple is very graceful and elegant. Tourists can see various antiques in the temple, which is a window for acquiring the ancient culture in Shanghai and is deemed as a classic work of Buddhist culture in Shanghai.

Details of the Scenic Spot:

Overall Introduction:

The temple covers an area of over 20 mu. In the temple, the Mahavira Hall, the Avalokitesvara Hall, the stupa and the newly-built Tripitaka Houses and Abbot’ Room compose of an axis, on the both sides of which, all the side halls were built gradually. These buildings fall into a four-progressive-entrance yard divided by the 200-meter-long stele-corridor, the corridor before the hall and the gatehouse. The Mahavira Hall in the front of the yard was built in the seventh year of the Yanyou era of the Yuan Dynasty (1320). The 50-meter-high nine-storied stupa in the north of the yard has been the first stupa in the Shanghai area since the late Qing Dynasty. The whole fane, with a spectacular and beautiful style, is an eye-catching historic interest of Zhenru Ancient Town in Putuo District—the “West Hall” of Shanghai.

Distinguishing Features:

The Mahavira Hall is an important historical monument under special preservation of the state. Among the 16 poles in the hall, there are 10 poles constructed in the Yuan Dynasty. The gold poles in the front and in the back of the hall lean inwards; hence the name “Inward Feet”. The bases of 6 poles are the antiques of the Yuan Dynasty. On the bottom side of the ridge beam, a 26-character inscription that record the precise time of installing the beam. The other archaistic buildings are all constructed in accordance with the style of the hall, by adopting grey tiles, white wall, gable and hip roof with single eaves and dragon fastigium. Besides, they are decorated with the primary-colored woodworks, which make the whole building cluster look simple and unsophisticated. Along the river, there is a 200-meter-long stele-corridor that is rare in Shanghai. In the Avalokitesvara Hall, there is a four-side whole-piece white marble Kwan-yin, which weights 35 tons and is rare in Asia. The nine-storied stupa, in which the Buddhist relics are treasured, is the landmark scenery in Zhenru Town in the northwest of Shanghai. The figure that consists of the stupa, two Tripitaka houses, the cloud path in front of the stupa, the lotus ponds beside the path and the dragon-eyeball-shaped stone lotus springs in the ponds looks like a sleeping dragon. The virescence sights, such as the Wheel of Law and the four Chinese characters meaning persistent running of it made from plants on the lawn before the stupa and various precious potted plants before each hall, are unique among the temples in Shanghai.

Major Sights and Main Attractions for Investors:

the Yuan-dynasty Great Hall, the four-side Kwan-yin, the nine-storied stupa, the long stele-corridor, the picture of sleeping dragon, the picture of Wheel of Law, the Liuhe Garden, the ancient-tree Kwan-yin, the multi-arris wall, the stone arch bridge, the Buddhist relics, etc.

Introduction for Major Sights:

The Yuan-dynasty great hall: it has been built for 800 years; the 10 poles, 6 pole bases and some bucket arches in it are antiques of the Yuan Dynasty; the 26-character inscription on the bottom side of the ridge beam records the precise time of installing the beam. The fastigium of the roof and the figures of human and animals on the hipped gable and etc. have been refitted by reference to the records and pictures of buildings in the Yuan Dynasty.

The nine-storied stupa: the height of the grand stupa is over 50 meters; it and the Longhua Stupa in the southwest of Shanghai echo each other, which constitutes a historic and civil sight of the modern Shanghai; hence the saying “For stupas, you should not miss the Longhua Stupa in the south and the Zhenru Stupa in the north”. Standing on the top of the stupa, you can see the splendid scenery of the international metropolis as well as the oriental pearl TV tower.

The four-side Kwan-yin: in the Avalokitesvara Hall, there is a 1.2-meter-high round stone lotus position, on which sits a 5.2-merter-high and 35-ton four-side Kwan-yin statue that is made from a whole piece of white marble. The Kwan-yin, in leno and gauze, seems dignified, graceful and kind. His slightly downward eyebeam seems to care about the suffering of the world and lets you be filled with deep esteem.

The picture of sleeping dragon: stupa in the back of the yard is the tail; the cloud path in front of it is the body; the two Tripitaka houses are the horns; the lotus ponds on both sides of the path are the eyes; the two black balls on the stone lotuses in the ponds are the eyeballs. The splendid overall arrangement is of significance.

The long stele-corridor: in the 200-meter-long corridor, diversified and significant classic Buddhistic steles that are of stupa, screen, drum and Tripitaka house styles are properly arranged, which forms a sublime picture corridor.

The picture of Wheel of Law: in the north of the lawn of over 2,000 square meters, there are two pieces of slightly higher land, on which plants two osmanthus fragrans, taking which as the axis, two pictures of the Wheel of Law are make from flowers and trees. Beside two lotus ponds in the south of the lawn, four Chinese characters meaning persistent running of Wheel of Law are made from buxus microphylla. The whole arrangement is very perfect and agreeable.

The Liuhe Garden: it is a peaceful garden composed of sixes parts including little zigzagged bridges, quiet creeks, rockery, ball seats, flower-decorated wooden fence and virescence. The “Liuhe” in its name implies the harmonious spirit in the Buddhism. Besides, the pronunciation of “Garden” in Chinese and the Chinese character “Yuan” (which means the lot or luck by which people are brought together) are partial tones in Chinese, which hints that the theory of Buddhism that the whole world are inseparable and all things in it are related with each other. The overall arrangement of the garden represents harmony and satisfactory.

The ancient-tree Kwan-yin: the maidenhair tree is the treasure of the temple. It was planted in the Yuan Dynasty. The trunk of the tree is black, for it has ever been stroke by lightening. A daimyo oak grows in the hollow of the trunk, which is a wonder in the temple. On the top of the daimyo oak’s trunk, there is a cicatrice that seems like a vivid Kwan-yin, which attracts myriad curious visitors and devout believers. The tree, as an old and precious tree registered in the Shanghai Garden Management Bureau, has been protected with fence.

The multi-arris wall: 23 types of tracery windows and 4 types of gates are decorated skillfully in the wandering wall, which create a unique and elegant atmosphere.