Urban Sketching: Zhenru Temple

08:45 am | Saturday

My sketching adventure last Saturday was at the Zhenru Temple (真如寺) in Putuo District. When my friend, Lily, suggested this place to visit instead of the venue designated by Drawing Shanghai / Shanghai Urban Sketchers, my curiosity was perked. So good that we went to the historic Zhenru Temple, I don’t know why I did not know about this temple before.

Originally built in the Song Dynasty (960-1276), the temple has undergone several changes throughout history between the Taiping Revolution to the Cultural Revolution where a lot of relics were destroyed. There is one temple within that is the original structure but most are rebuilt due to the fire that ravaged it and of course, other revolutions that happened.

As it was a special occassion in the lunar calendar, the temple was abuzz with the monks’ chantings, and people coming to pray or make offerings.

The ambiance was just the right dose I needed after a crazy week at work. The monks’ chants are quite calming and in a way repetitious but somehow having this in the background was the perfect company while I sketched, that I even forgot to put on earphones.

If you get a chance to visit Shanghai, I highly recommend this place to visit.

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