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Shaolin Temple

Explore the Spiritual Wonders of China

The Shaolin Temple, situated at the foot of Song Mountain, Dengfeng County of Henan Province is a world famous 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 during the Bei Wei (or Northern Wi, 386 – 535 CE) Dynasty to greet Bhatta, a distinguished India monk. In the early years of the Tang Dynasty (618 – 907 CE), the thirteen monks helped Li Shimin (who would later become the second emperor of the Tang Dynasty) to win a war against a warlord named Wang Shichong. Since then, the Shaolin Temple earned a reputation as being the most significant Buddhist temple in China.

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During the Song Dynasty (960 – 1271 CE), there were more than 2,000 monks residing in the Shaolin Temple.  Tragically, in 1928, Shi Yousan, a warlord, set fire to Shaolin Temple and the most of it was destroyed. Many valuable Buddhism books, including the historic records of Shaolin and the collection of Shaolin Wushu were all ruined. After the establishment of People’s Republic of China in 1949, the government rebuilt the destroyed complex. In 1982, a movie named Shaolin Temple gained international fame for the kung fu of Shaolin Si.

Shaolin Temple also is one of China’s most popular tourist attractions. In 2000, Shaolin Temple was designated a 4A tourist attraction thanks to its solid reputation for being safe and sanitary. The constructions in Shaolin Temple include Changzhu Yuan, Tallin, Chuzu Convent, Er’zu Convent, Boddhidharma Cave, and others. Changzhu Yuan, the seven-floor construction, is the most important part of Shaolin Temple with an area of over 7 acres (30,000 square meters). Occupying an area of about five acres, Tallin is the cemetery for the monks. There are more than 230 pagodas in Tallin, making it the largest pagoda forest in China.

Chuzu Convent was built during the Song Dynasty for commemorating Boddhidharma who is the “primary ancestor” of China Buddhism Zen. Boddhidharma Cave is over 16 feet deep and 10 feet wide. It is said that Bodhidharma meditated while sitting in a small cave above the Shaolin Temple for nine years in front of a wall, and had hence left his shadow on the rock which was removed from the cave and was displayed in Shaolin Temple.

Shaolin Kung Fu refers to a collection of Chinese martial arts that claim an 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 Buddhist term which pertains to the connection between Zen and Wushu. Kung fu’s chief aim is to improve the practitioner’s character.

Travel Tips

Admission Fee: 100RMB

Opening Time: 8:00 – 17:00

How to get there: Take coach bus at Luoyang Bus Station to Dengfeng and then take No.8 bus.