Sunday, May 24, 2015

Putuo

My new Shanghai digs are in the northwest district of 普陀 Putuo (the last was in 杨浦 Yangpu, close to the border to 宝山 Baoshan, in the northeast). A publication of the district office (above) apprised us of the existence of a Yuan-Dynasty Buddhist temple not far from my friend's


place named 真如寺 Zhenru, so we headed off to have a look. Neighborhoods around have been entirely replaced by housing complexes and the nearest landmark is a vast fish market but Zhenru is alive and well. It boasts a 650-year old hall (along with an equally ancient ginkgo tree which has recently produced new branches.
Everything else is, predictably, new - like the ten-storey pagoda, erected in 1999, and the stacked Avalokitesvara and blubbery Maitreya (above right and left). But what a pleasure to visit a functioning Buddhist temple in a less famous part of Shanghai, and how impressive to see the long rosters of supporters. 

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