China Discovery Tour
Zhengzhou | Dengfeng | China
03 Jan 2020 | Fri
Day 07 of 18
Shaolin Temple and Pagoda Forest
The Shaolin Monastery (Chinese: 少林寺), also known as the Shaolin Temple, is a Chan (“Zen”) Buddhist temple in Dengfeng County, Henan Province, China. Believed to be established in the fifth century (495AD), the Shaolin Temple is the main temple of the Shaolin school of Buddhism to this day.
Considered being the cradle of Chinese Zen Buddhism and the Shaolin Martial Arts visiting the Shaolin Temple was one of the biggest highlights of our trip to China. The Shaolin Temple facility and Pagoda Forest are located just outside the town of Dengfeng in the foothills of the Song Shan mountain range (two hours from Zhengzhou, the provincial capital of Henan).
Located 90 kilometers (56 miles) west of the city of Zhengzhou, the Shaolin Monastery and its Pagoda Forest are referred to as the Number One Temple under Heaven which was listed as UNESCO’s World Cultural & Natural Heritage List in 2010 as part of the “Historic Monuments of Dengfeng.”
“Shao” refers to the Shaoshi Mountain, one of the two mountains in Songshan Mountain Range. “Lin” means “forest”. “Shaolin Temple” literally means a temple in the forest of Shaoshi Mountain in Songshan Mountain Range.
Entrance & Tourist Center
Ta Gou Kung Fu School
Once you enter the attraction compound, you will first walk by Shaolin Tagou Martial Arts School. The Ta Gou Kung Fu School, one of the largest kung fu schools in China, is the only one kung fu school that owns and practices on land below the Shaolin Temple. It has over 400 classes and has trained over 50,000 kung fu students.
Archway Entrance & Walk to Shaolin Temple
Outside Shaolin Kung Fu Show Theatre & Artifacts Museum
Kung Fu Performance Hall
Here we watched an incredible 30 to 40 minute “Kung Fu Show” performed by the professional performance team from Shaolin Ta Gou Kung Fu School.
Shaolin Temple Grounds
- Shanmen Hall – is the first hall, serving as an entrance to the temple. Across the top is a sign that states “Shaolin Temple”.
- Hall of Heavenly Kings – a beautiful structure that displays the four heavenly kings.
- Mahavira Palace Hall
- Standing in Snow Pavilion
- Various Chinese structures, stone craved monuments, and tablets
Ancient graveyards filled with 240 tomb pagodas of various sizes from the Tang, Song, Jin, Yuan, Ming, and Qing dynasties (618-1911). Many of the pagodas here house the remains of previous monks.