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Home >> China City Guide >> Henan Province >> Luoyang >> Shaolin Temple tour information

Shaolin Temple


Shaolin Temple, Luoyang
Shaolin Temple, Luoyang China
Shaolin Temple, Luoyang China Henan Province
Shaolin Temple Luoyang

Shaolin Temple is located at the foot of the Wuru Peak of the Shaoshi Mountain of Dengfeng, Henan Province. It was first built in the nineteenth year of the reign of Emperor Taihe of the Northern Wei Dynasty (495 A.D.) Then in 527 AD, Bodhidharma, an ancinent Indian monk, came here and started the Zen sect, which is regarded as the "ancestral (first) court" of the Chinese Buddhism. The whole structure was rebuilt in the Ming and Qing Dynasties occupying a floor space of 30,000 square meters.

In the temple the Hall of Thousand Buddhas is the most magnificent inside which well preserved are gigantic murals of "500 Arhats Worshiping..." that cover the east, west and north wells. On the brick floor of the hall two rows of depressions can be seen; these are marks left by Shaolin monks who over long years practiced in it martial arts, the well-known Shaolin Kongfu, which originated right here. The architecture of the halls, pavilions, pagodas and other structures in Shaolin Monastery is a representative of an important style in the history of Chinese architecture. Another valuable and precious relic well kept is the more than 300 inscribed stone tablets left over since the Tang Dynasty.

About 300 meters west of Shaolin Monastery is the Forest of Stupas, the largest group of stupas in China, serving as the tombs for Shaolin monks after they die. The existent over 220 stupas of brick and stone were built in the dynasties of Tang, Song, Jin, Yuan, Ming and Qing. The stupas, usually of 3-5 stories, are no more than 15 meters high, and vary in shapes of quadrangle, sexangle, cylinder, cone, parabola, straight line, bottle, circle; some are made of one piece of rock. On most of the stupas there are bas-reliefs and inscriptions. The stupa forest is representative of the artifacts of the successive dynasties and a treasure house of ancient architecture and sculpture of China.

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