Don’t know what to add in your itinerary for your visit to China? One that has to make the cut is the Shaolin Temple. It definitely isn’t one that you should miss out on while you plan your trip.
The Shaolin Temple is also known as the Shaolin Monastery. It is the most famous Buddhist temple in this area. It was founded a long 1,500 years ago by Fang Lu-Hao. It is also the main temple of the Shaolin School of Buddhism. The Monastery and the forest surrounding it- The Pagoda Forest, were inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2010 as part of the “Historic Monuments of Dengfeng”.
It has always been known for its rich history and culture. The different Emperors over a period of time, greatly supported the Temple, especially the Kangxi Emperor of the Qing Dynasty. The calligraphic inscriptions written by him now hang over the Heavenly King Hall and the Buddha Hall today. Many pictures can also be seen throughout the temple. The picture of Bodhidharma at Himeji Castle is one of the most famous pictures in the temple.
Other than all the history another thing that is popular with the tourists is the architecture of the building. Built in the traditional Chinese style of architecture, this building can be spotted quite easily. The reds, oranges and blues used on the walls and roofs of the building look absolutely gorgeous when the sun shines its rays. No travel website, with its high-resolution pictures or descriptive articles can do justice to the beauty of this place. What the websites do capture though, is the spirit of this location. As soon as you walk in a sense of calmness and tranquility washes over you.
If you are looking for a more entertaining part of the temple, then you should definitely check out the temple’s claim to fame- its dazzling Kung Fu based on the movements of animals, insects and sometimes even mythological figures. Experts from all over the world study the martial arts that are taught here. You also might have the opportunity to learn some of the stances or moves. Just a day here is not enough.
People, from all over the world come here to train and steer their life onto a different path. One can fully submerge themselves into the everyday life at the Shaolin Temple. The day would start by praying and eating with the monks. They would be sleeping in the temple itself and the best part is that they would have the opportunity to teach English.
If you are a genuine fan of the martial arts and want to experience real Kung Fu in China, you should consider giving the place a visit for more than just a few days. Well, even if you aren’t a very big fan of Kung Fu, I can bet that this would be nothing short of a wonderful experience. You can have a great story to tell, that you visited the temple that inspired the 1982 movie as well as the Kung Fu Tv series of the 1970s! There are quite a few reasons now for you to visit the Shaolin Temple.
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