China | Dengfeng | Luoyang | Zhengzhou

Shaolin Temple and Pagoda Forest

China Discovery Tour

Zhengzhou | Dengfeng | China

03 Jan 2020 | Fri

Day 07 of 18

  • Drive – Zhengzhou to Dengfeng
  • Shaolin Temple and Pagoda Forest
  • Lunch | Yongtai Temple Vegetarian Restaurant Dengfeng
  • White Horse Temple Luoyang
  • Thai Temple Wat Hame Assavaram at White Horse Temple
  • Lee Royal Hotel Mudu Luoyang

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.

Shaolin Monk Statue

Shaolin Monastery, also known as Shaolin Temple, is a renowned temple recognized as the birthplace of Chan Buddhism and the cradle of Shaolin Kung Fu. It is located at the foot of Wuru Peak of the Songshan mountain range in Dengfeng County, Henan Province, China. The name reflects its location in the ancient grove of Mount Shaoshi, in the hinterland of the Songshan mountains. Mount Song occupied a prominent position among Chinese sacred mountains as early as the 1st century BC, when it was proclaimed one of the Five Holy Peaks. It is located some thirty miles (about forty-eight kilometers) southeast of Luoyang, the former capital of the Northern Wei Dynasty (386–534), and forty-five miles (about seventy-two kilometers) southwest of Zhengzhou, the modern capital of Henan Province.

The Temple’s historical architectural complex, standing out for its great aesthetic value and its profound cultural connotations, has been inscribed in the UNESCO World Heritage List. Apart from its contribution to the development of Chinese Buddhism, as well as for its historical, cultural, and artistic heritage, the temple is famous for its martial arts tradition. Shaolin monks have been devoted to research, creation, and continuous development and perfecting of Shaolin kung fu.

– Wikipedia Shaolin Monastery

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.

Shaolin Kung Fu, also called Shaolin Wushu, or Shaolin quan, is one of the oldest, largest, and most famous styles of wushu, or kung fu of Chan Buddhism. It combines Ch’an philosophy and martial arts and originated and was developed in the Shaolin temple in Henan province, Greater China during its 1500-year history. Popular sayings in Chinese folklore related to this practice include “All martial arts under heaven originated from Shaolin” and “Shaolin kung fu is the best under heaven,” indicating the influence of Shaolin kung fu among martial arts. The name Shaolin is also used as a brand for the so-called external styles of kung fu. Many styles in southern and northern China use the name Shaolin.

– Wikipedia Shaolin Kung Fu

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

Pagoda Forest

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.

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