18 Day – China Discovery Tour
Day 07 | Zhengzhou | Friday, 03 Jan 2020
Activity – 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 have been founded in the fifth century, the Shaolin Temple is the main temple of the Shaolin school of Buddhism to this day.
Located 90 kilometres (56 miles) west of the city of Zhengzhou, the Shaolin Monastery and its Pagoda Forest were inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2010 as part of the “Historic Monuments of Dengfeng”.
More about Shaolin Monastery:
More about Shaolin Kung Fu:
Considered to be the cradle of the 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 is 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).
The Shaolin Temple Complex is separated into three areas:
Kung Fu Performance Hall – here we watched an incredible 30 to 40 minute “Kung Fu Show” performed by the professional performance team from Shaolin Tagou Kung Fu School.
Shaolin Temple – here we visited the first gate – Shanmen Hall (enshrines the Maitreya Buddha), Devaraja Hall “Hall of Heavenly Kings” (has figures of four guardian gods, each responsible for watching over the cardinal directions of the world) amd Mahavira Hall (enshrining representations of Gautama Buddha and various other buddhas).
Pagoda Forest – Ancient graveyard 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.
There are currently 35,00 students living and training at the Shaolin Temple facility.