The Shaolin Temple, situated at the foot of Song Mountain, Dengfeng County of Henan Province is a world-renowned Buddhist Temple. Because it stands the south part of Shaoshi Mountain hidden in the forest, the temple is named Shaolin Temple. The temple was constructed in Bei Wei Dynasty to greet Bhatta, a distinguished India monk. In the early years of Tang Dynasty, the thirteen monks helped Li Shimin (later became the second emperor of Tang Dynasty) to win the war against Wang Shichong (a warlord). Since then, the Shaolin Temple got its fame and honored as “Top Buddhist Temple in China”.
In Song Dynasty (960-1271AD), there were more than 2,000 monks in Shaolin Temple. But it got its best time in Ming Dynasty with larger scale. While in 1928, Shi Yousan, a warlord, set fire to Shaolin Temple and the most of it was destroyed. Many valuable Buddhism volumes, the historic records of Shaolin and the collection of Shaolin Wushu were all ruined. After the establishment of People Republic of China, the government rebuilt the destroyed construction. In 1982, a movie named Shaolin Temple made the kung fu of Shaolin Si get its international fame.
Shaolin Temple also is one of hot tourist attractions in China. In 2000, Shaolin Temple was designated as the 4A tourist attraction. The constructions in Shaolin Temple include Changzhu Yuan, Tallin, Chuzu Convent, Er’zu Convent, Boddhidharma Cave, etc. Changzhu Yuan, the seven-floor construction, is the most important construction in Shaolin Temple with an area of over 30 thousands square meters. Occupying an area of about 21,000 square meters, Tallin is the cemetery of monks. There are more than 230 pagodas in Tallin which is the largest pagoda forest in China. Chuzu Convent was built by people of Song Dynasty for commemorating Boddhidharma who is the “primary ancestor” of China Buddhism Zen. Boddhidharma Cave is 5 meters deep and 3 meters wide. It is said that Bodhidharma meditated quiet-sitting in a small cave above the Shaolin Temple for nine years in front of a wall, and had left his shadow on the rock which was removed from the cave and was displayed in Shaolin Temple.
Speaking of Shaolin Temple, the kung fu first comes into people’s mind. Shaolin Kung Fu refers to a collection of Chinese martial arts that claim affiliation with the Shaolin Temple. Of the tens of thousands of kung fu and wushu styles, several hundred might have some relationship to Shaolin. Kung fu is a Buddhism term which is the connection of Zen and Wushu. Kung fu aims at change one’s character into better.
Admission Fee: 100RMB
Opening Time: 8:00 – 17:00
How to get to: Take coach bus at Luoyang Bus Station to Dengfeng and then take No.8 bus.