One of the key temples of the nation and a historic building under municipal-level protection. the temple takes its name after the dedicated Jade Buddha within the temple.
In 1882, during the reign of Emperor Guangxu in the Qing Dynasty, Hui Gen, a monk from Mount Putuo, gathered jade in Burma and returned to China after he had finished sculpting five jade statues of Buddha.
On his way back from home via Shanghai, he left in Shanghai a sitting Buddha and a sleeping Buddha and to be dedicated in temples. He also managed to get a copy of the Tripitaka (Qianlong edition).
The temple was relocated many times until a monk named Ke Cheng had a new temple built at the present site using donated funds. In the temple, which was constructed in line with the layout of the royal palace, there are Jade Tower and Hall of Sleeping Buddha aside from Great Buddha Hall.
The Sitting Jade Buddha is 1.95 meters in height weighting about one ton, while the Sleeping Jade Buddha is a little smaller. After 1949, the government made several allocations for the temple’s renovation.
On January 8, 1963, Premier Sirimavo Bandarnaike of Ceylon (now SriLanka), accompanied by Premier Zhou Enlai, paid a visit to Jade Buddha Temple, where 64 monks had memorial mass read for the 6oth birthday or Solomon Bandaranaike, the late premier of Ceylon.
During the Cultural Revolution, Jade Buddha Temple was well protected under personal concern of Premier Zhou Enlai.
Now it is the only temple having escaped destruction in Shanghai. After 1978, Zhen Chan was appointed abbot, making it become the first temple where religious practices were resumed. In the temple are located Shanghai Buddhist Association and Shanghai Institute of Buddhism.
In 2000, the temple was expended to the site of Liqun Hospital where Juequn Building was constructed for propagation of Buddhism.
Today, a rang of cultural products featuring the brand name Juequn have been developed.