In what could be the first such attempt of its type in China, work has started on relocating the main hall of Shanghai’s famed 135-year-old Yufo Temple, also known as the Jade Buddha Temple. The moving of the temple started on Saturday, official media here reported. According to the relocation project, the main hall of the temple will be moved 30.66 meters to the north and will be raised 1.05 meters than its previous position, the China News Service reported. The Buddha statues and other cultural relics in the hall will simultaneously be moved. This is the first time China is implementing such a project, which will be completed in two weeks, the report said.
Relocating the temple aims to provide greater security and better protection to historical architecture, state run Global Times reported. In carrying out the delicate task, engineers first cut the hall from its original foundation and then lifted it on a platform with tracks.
During the next few days, the hall will be placed on a new foundation. The most difficult part of the project is protecting the Buddha statues installed inside. Because the foundation of ancient architecture are usually loose, any movement could destroy the foundation. Built in 1882, the temple is one of Shanghai’s most popular tourist attractions with more than two million people visiting it annually. More than 100,000 people visit it daily on major holidays.