Shaolin Temple, in the region of Dengfeng City, Henan Province, is reputed to be ‘the Number One Temple under Heaven’. Dating back 1,500 years when founded by Bodhidharman, Shaolin Temple is the main temple of the Shaolin school of Buddhism to this day.Shaolin Monastery was built on the north side of Shaoshi, the central peak of Mount Song, one of the Sacred Mountains of China, by Emperor Xiaowen of the Northern Wei dynasty in 477 AD, to accommodate the Indian master beside the capital Luoyang
Traditionally Bodhidharma is credited as founder of the martial arts at the Shaolin Temple.First built in 495 A.D., Shaolin Temple is famous for Chinese Kung Fu or Martial Arts and the Zen Buddhism wide- spread in East Asia. The Shaolin Temple is famous for the coexistence of Chan School and martial art. It became famous in the Sui and Tang dynasties, in early Song Dunasty, the 13-Rod Monk was conferred title of nobility on saving the life of King of Qin. Soon the Shaolin martial art developed into its own system and became famous as the unique Shaolin School among Chinese martial circles.
During the Yuan and Ming dynasties, the Shaolin Temple housed some 1,000 monks and became a large Buddhist temple known at home and abroad. Today it has become an attractive tourist destination in China.
Shaolin Temple once had many monks on its premises. Those monks of the lower level mostly came from the secular society and some of them knew some martial arts before entering the temple. Those who knew martial arts taught and helped each other to improve their skills. They also absorbed the experience of their predecessors and gradually developed their martial arts into the unique Shaolin School.
Now, Shaolin Temple is one of China’s most famous ancient temples for domestic tourists, as well as visitors from all over the world. Shaolin Temple embraces many exciting attractions, such as the Hall of Heavenly Kings (Tianwangdian), the Mahavira Hall (Daxiongbaodian), the Pagoda Forest, the Dharma Cave and the Martial Art Training Center.
You may take Bus Route 8 from Dengfeng West Bus Station (#129 Zhongyue Avenue, Dengfeng), which takes about 30 minutes to get to Shaolin Temple. If you travel from Zhengzhou, you may take buses from Zhengzhou Passenger Bus Center (near to Zhengzhou Railway Station). There are buses leave for Shaolin Temple every day every half hour. It takes about 2 hours for one-way journey. If you travel from Luoyang, you may take busese from Luoyang Long-distance Bus Station (near to Luoyang Railway Station) to get to the entrance of Shaolin Temple directly. It takes about 2 hours’ driving for Luoyang to Shaolin Temple.
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