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Shanghai Baiyun Taoist Temple


Shanghai White Cloud Temple is a temple of The Complete Perfection Tradition. It is located on the Back Xinlin Street at the former Western Gate of Shanghai, the present seat of Shanghai Daoist Association.

History & Background
About in the Yuan dynasty, the Complete Perfection Tradition of Daoism was spread into Shanghai. According to Annals of Songjiang Prefecture, in the tenth Dade year of the Yuan dynasty (1306), there was once a building, "Changchun Daoist Temple" in Lou County. The temple was so named in honor of Qiu Chuji (whose literary name was Changchunzi), the patriarch of The Dragon Gate Sect ( 龍門派 Longmen Pai ) of the Complete Perfection Tradition. 

In the first year of the Zhizhi era (1321), Yang Zai wrote Records of Changchun Daoist Temple, in which he mentioned that the abbot at that time was Zheng Jun, son of General Zheng who guarded Guangling. However, during the following 500 years, accounts of activities of the Complete Perfection Tradition in this region were rarely seen. 

It was not until the 13th Tongzhi year of the Qing dynasty (1874) that Daoist Wang Mingzhen from Xianzhen Temple of Hangzhou founded the Daoist temple "Hall of the Thunder Patriarch ( 雷祖 Leizu )" of this tradition at Chaoyanglou outside the Northern Gate of Shanghai (around today's Zhejiang Road and Beihai Road). 

In the eighth year of the Guangxu reign (1882), the temple had to be removed due to the expanding of roads. With the gentry' patronage, abbot Xu Zhicheng at that time bought the present seat of the White Cloud Temple and rebuilt the Hall of the Thunder Patriarch. In the 12th Guangxu year (1886), he expanded the Hall of The Big Dipper ( 斗姥 Doumu ), the guest rooms and the dining room. 

In the 14th Guangxu year (1888), Xu Zhicheng went to Beijing. Assisted by government officials and abbot Gao Rendong of Beijing White Cloud Temple, he bought over 8,000 volumes of Daoist Canon ( 道藏 Daozang ) of the Ming version on the condition that the Hall of the Thunder Patriarch was changed into "Haishang White Cloud Temple", a subsidiary temple of Beijing White Cloud Temple. Then Haishang White Cloud Temple adopted the commandments of the latter and gradually established it's post as one of the Temples of the Ten Directions ( 十方叢林 Shifang Conglin ) of the Complete Perfection Tradition. It became a prestigious temple of this tradition in the southeast of China.

In the 16th Guangxu year (1890), Xu Zhicheng, the first abbot of the White Cloud Temple passed away. 

In the 19th Guangxu year (1893), funded by Chen Runfu, President of Shanghai Chamber of Commerce and the like, Taoists of the White Cloud Temple enlarged the Hall of the Three Pristine Ones ( 三清殿 Sanqing Dian ), the Hall of Patriarch Lü and the Hall of Patriarch Qiu, and expanded the area of the temple into a considerable dimension of 14 mu. The hall is divided into the front and the back parts. The middle line of the front part consists of the Hall of the Thunder Patriarch and the library; the eastern line consists of the guest rooms and the Hall of Patriarch Qiu; the western line consists of the dining room, the Hall of the Big Dipper, etc. The middle line of the back part is the Great Hall of the Three Pristine Ones; the southern is the Jiazi Hall; the northern is Hall of The Four Heavenly Ministers ( 四御殿 Siyu Dian ); the eastern is Hall of Salvation from Misery ( 救苦 Jiuku ); the western line includes the Hall of Patriarch Lü, The Jade Emperor ( 玉皇 Yuhuang ) Pavilion, and the Bells and Drums Pavilion, etc.

During the chaotic years between the end of the Qing dynasty and the Republic of China, the White Cloud Temple was depressed day by day and its management got in disorder. After the liberation, the purity of a Daoist temple was restored to the White Cloud Temple. But during the "Cultural Revolution", the temple was once again damaged, and all the scriptures, paintings and calligraphies collected were destroyed. 

After 1978, the Daoist nature of the White Cloud Temple resumed and all kinds of religious activities were conducted smoothly.



Opening Hours: 08:00-16:00
Address: No. 8, 100 Lane, Xilin Back Street, Shanghai City
Traveling route: go by city bus
Tel: 86-21-63775402

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