Shaolin Temple is Chan Buddhist temple located on Mount Song in Dengfeng, Zhengzhou in Henan province, Peoples Republic of China. The Temple is founded by Abbot Shi Yongxin in the fifth century. This temple is recognized as UNESCO World Heritage in the year 2010 and annexed part of Historic Monuments of Dengfeng. During the good old days of the Monastery Abbot Shi Yongxin, who was very much renowned of his association of Shaolin Kung Fu, the temple was considered as “the number one Temple under Heaven”. The mountain is rich, virgin location for vegetation, with wild flower all across.
Once you are reached at the temple, you are provided with a virtual guide and that will ease up your visit. The temple has quite lot of wonderful attraction and one would wonder the kind of efforts to construct such a magnificent structures on top of the mountain. The beautifully paved promenade shows the conviction of ruler’s efforts to put a mark of their presence in the history. Truly incredible and unable to digest the efforts and logics of these rulers what prompted them to construct these structures. Sites such as Hall of Heavenly Kings, The Pagoda Forest, the Martial Art Training Center, the Dharma Cave is truly amazing.
Enter Shanmen Hall:
Visitors are welcomed to the Shanmen Hall. Here you can see a big tablet hung from the roof constructed by Emperor Kangix of Qing Dynasty with an inscription “Shaolin Temple”. In the hall you can see the statue of Buddha. Under the stair case, two lions are sitting looking opposite each other constructed during the Ming Dynasty. When going through different Dynasties, it could be seen that each Dynasties competed to put their cultural marks on the temple by way of installing inscriptions, statues or other form of art works.
All these pagodas are the graveyard of Buddhist dignitaries. There are lots of pagodas and the pagodas are about 15 meter in height. Each pagoda is different in size and difference depicts the attainment and the Buddhist status of the person. This is the largest pagoda complex in China.
This is the main hall and central place, where important prayers and celebrations conducted. You can see so many statues of different Buddhists here. Statue of Dharma the founder of Zhen Buddhism and Kingnaro the founder of Shaolin Cudgel also can be seen here.
This is an emotionally charged location. It is believed that here is the place Dharma practiced meditation facing the wall continuously for 9 years and got the salvation and created the Zen Buddhism. The cave is about seven meter in deep and having a height of 3 meters. All over the cave is having rich inscription of Zen Buddhism. In the base you can find a stone called the “Meditating Stone!” The legend says, the shadow of Dharma casted a permanent mark when he had his 9 years of continuous meditation.
The living quarters for transit monks can be seen after the Dharma Cave. These quarters are on the banks of river Shaoxi opposite to the Shaolin Temple. This was built during Ming Dynasty and reconstructed or renovated during Qing Dynasty.
Shaolin Kung Fu Training Center:
Shaolin Temple is well associated with the Shaolin Kung Fu. The monks are practicing and were providing training Kung Fu for more than 1500 years. The martial art were developed initially based on two things, one to keep the body fit and flexible and second is to defend oneself. The Shaolin Training Center is located in a naturally beautiful location.
The entry of the temple is allowed by fee of CNY 110 per hear. The visiting time is 8:10 am to 17:30 pm. You need to spend nearly two hours to complete the visit. This is one of the serene places with spiritual value and should not miss to include in your itinerary.