CHARMING SHAOLIN MONASTERY,
TOURISM, RELIGION AND KUNG FU

The Shaolin Monastery, located in north-central China, is a well known Buddhist temple in Dengfeng, 50 miles southwest of Zhengzhou (Henan). Founded in the 5th century, the monastery is famous for its center of Shaolin Kung Fu. Shaolin Monastery and its Pagoda Forest are protected by World Heritage Site (UNESCO).

Shaolin Monastry is located in the area around Songshan Mountain in the Dengfeng City, 50 miles southwest of Zhengzhou, Henan Province in China. Writed in the UNESCO's world cultural and natural heritage list in 2010, this monastery is regarded as the best centre of Shaolin Kung Fu, the most famous Chinese martial art form. Moreover, this temple is reputed for being the cradle of Chinese Zen Buddhism. This famous monastery is surrounded by natural scenery of beautiful wild flowers, pines, singing birds and pleasant air presenting a very lively scene.

Legends and history of Shaolin Temple
Shaolin Monastery was founded during the Northern Wei Dynasty in 495 when an Indian monk (Butao) came to Luoyang to promote Buddhism. This monk was creator of Chinese Zen. A legend about him says that he meditated in a cave, now called Damo Cave, for 9 years. A believer of Buddhism, Emperor Xiaowen got a temple constructed for Batuo who worked upon many Buddhist documents and had many followers there. Add to this, Shaolin temple is surrounded by many legends about martial arts, Shaolin temple, Shaolin monks and such things. He was believed to write "Yijinjing", the basic guide for Shaolin martial arts. However, there is little mystery about who wrote this book. This structure is an important part of China tour for its martial arts and KungFu.

Attractions at Shaolin Monastry
Shaolin monastery, being a religious site, commands high regard and sanctity. Besides its religious value, the monastery is known for its beautiful and exciting attractions. It has several structures such as the Hall of Heavenly Kings (Tianwangdian), the Pagoda Forest, the Mahavira Hall (Daxiongbaodian), the Dharma Cave and the Shaolin Temple Martial Art Training Center. These attractions put excellent view for the eyes and for the peace of mind.

Shanmen Hall, The Hall of Heavenly Kings, Mahavira Hall
The very first structure you will see is Shanmen Hall which enshrines Maitreya Buddha. On the both sides of the hall, many inscriptions can be seen which were inscribed during different dynasties. The Hall of Hevanely Kings has two Buddhist warriors at the gate and Four Heavenly Kings inside the hall. These Kings were believed to help and bless people in trouble. This is the centre of the Monastery where all the prayers and celebrations are organized. This hall enshrines Sakyamuni Buddha, Pharmacist Buddha and Amitabha Buddha, the Buddhas from the Middle, East and West. The placement of Kingnaro and Dharma is quite different from that in other halls. It is believed that there are footprints of monks who practiced Shaolin Martial arts.

The Pagoda Forest, Other Monasteries
A World Heritage site, Pagoda Forest is the graveyard of Buddhist dignitaries for ancient times. They are different shapes and sizes depending upon various factors. The Pagoda Forest is regarded to be the largest among the pagoda complexes in China. In the northwest direction outside the temple, there are two other monasteries, the Ancestor's Monastery and the second Ancestor's Monastery. The Ancestor's Monastery was constructed to commemorate the Dharma's nine years of meditation in cave and it is supported by 16 pillars. Second monastery was built as the nursing home to second ancestor Huike.

The courses of Shaolin Kung Fu at Wushu Training Center
Here at the Shaolin Temple the monks teaches kung fu from over 1500 years. Today, the tourists can come here to take Shaolin kung fu courses. Here there are the most challenging courses and high-level, but also for children and the elderly can be very interesting to follow special short courses. The monks provide a room only for those who must support a course longer than one month. However, in the vicinity of the temple there are many hotels with prices quite low (100 to 400 yuan). Often foreign students studying Chinese prefer a long stay here, so they have the opportunity to combine interesting experiences to the study of Chinese language. The short courses (up to a month) cost 200 yuan per day. The courses from one month to three months cost 5000 yuan per month, those from 4 to 6 months costing 4500 yuan per month. For more complete information, please contact this number: 0086 13137149590 or at this Email: shaolinchina@yahoo.cn.




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