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Longhua Temple is the oldest, largest and most magnificent Buddhist architecture in Shanghai area. It is said that the temple was built in 247 AD. The temple, the pagoda, the temple fair and the evening bell chiming constitute a religious tourist attraction. Many Buddhist scriptures, gold seals and statues from the Tang Dynasty, the Five Dynasties, the Ming Dynasty and the Qing Dynasty are housed in a hall built in the Song Dynasty. LonghuaTemple had been destroyed several times in history and today's temple was rebuilt during the Daoguang Reign of the Qing Dynasty. However, the octagonal, seven-story and 40-meter-high pagoda was rebuilt in the Song Dynasty.
Located in Longhua Town, Xuhui District, it is a famous thousand-year-old ancient temple south of the Changjian River. It has the longest history and the largest scale among Buddhist monasteries in the history of Shanghai. It occupies an area of more than 20,000 sq.m. with a floor space of 5,219 sq.m. It is said that Longhua Temple and Longhua Pagoda were builtin 5th Chiwu year of King Sun Quan of the Wu State during the Three Kingdoms Period (242 A.D.). There are four adjoining halls: the Grand Hall. The Three Sages Hall, Hall of Maitreya and the Abbot Chamber. On the sides are the bell tower and the drum tower, arhats hall and preaching hall. Longhua Pagoda is by the side of the temple, also built during the Three Kingdoms Period. The pagoda is of brick and wood structure. It is 40-m tall with 7 stories in octagonal shape. There are eaves on every story and bells hanging on the corners and corridors around the body. The modelling is graceful and appealing. Longhua Pagoda is the largest among the 16 pagodas in Shanghai. Its architecture is magnificent and the sculpture, exquisite, with precious Buddist musical instruments and beautiful landscaping. There are a large number of valuable inscriptions written by celebrated calligraphers. Gui Mao of the Qing Dynasty praised the bell chimes in Longhua Temple as better than the bell chimes heard at midnight in Hanshan Temple (The Longhua evening bell chimes on New Year's Day ring in the new and ring out the old.) It is now a tourist market. Every New Year Eve thousands of Japanese and Southeast Asian tourists come here to listen to the bell chimes. On the third day of every third lunar month the temple fair, which has a history of more than 400 years, has been carried on to his day as one of well-known folk custom festivities.
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