Open for public visits as the ‘Longhua Park’, the Longhua Pagoda and Temple area attracts large numbers of tourists both local and international. Positioned towards the southwest region of the city, Longhua Pagoda and Temple was built in 274 AD.
The impressive, Longhua Temple which boasts a history of 1700 years is renowned as Shanghai’s oldest and largest temple. The temple alone occupies a total land area of more than 20,000 square metres. Some of its most outstanding architectural features include the Maitreya Hall, Three Sages Hall, Devajara Hall, Mahavira Hall, Abbot’s Hall and Sutras Keeping Hall. The latter is well known for housing the Dazang sutras, the gold seals as well as the famous Buddhist statues. Other notable features include the Bell Tower and the Drum Tower. The Bell Tower which is three-storied has a revered copper bell. The bell’s diameter is one point three metres while its height is two metres. Held on 31st December each year, the Evening Bell-Striking Ceremony is ranked among the eight best attractions of Shanghai. However, as a result of several wars, most of the temple’s buildings have been damaged during its long history. A majority of it was reconstructed by the Emperor Tongzhi and Guangxu of the Qing Dynasty.
Meanwhile the seven-storied Longhua Pagoda that stands right opposite the Longhua Temple is 40.4 metres high. The pagoda mainly consists of the brick structure and the wooden staircases. Each level of the Longhua Pagoda is smaller than the one beneath and each storey is surrounded by balconies. As the wind sweeps by, the bells placed on each bend of the octagonal attic make pleasant sounds adding to its enchantment. It is recorded that Longhua Pagoda has been restored quite a number of times. However, despite several renovations the original architectural styles of the Song Dynasty can be spotted even today.
The best way to explore this charming, sacred and peaceful sight is to stay at a nearby hotel in Nanjing Road. Travellers can also choose to stay at a luxury boutique hotel in Shanghai such as the Langham Yangtze Boutique Shanghai and discover the exceptional Longhua Pagoda as well as many other intriguing attractions in the region.