Shaolin Temple is also known as Shaolin Monastero. It is located at the foot of Wuru Peak of Mount Song (Songshan Mountain) in Dengfeng City, Henan Province, situated 95km in the west of the capital city of Henan – Zhengzhou and 110km in the east of ancient city Luoyang.
With a long history, Shaolin Temple was built in 495 AD. Covering an area of 576,000m2, it was built as the shelter for Buddhabhadra – an eminent monk from India, by Xiaowen Emperor of Northern Wei Dynasty (386~534). 32 years later, another famous monk from India – Bodhidharma came to Shaolin Temple to preach Zen Buddhism. While teaching Zen Buddhism, Bodhidharma meditated in a cave near Shaolin Temple. He used to stretch legs with some movements he created, which is believed to be the origin of Kung Fu or Martial Arts. Successive improvements and numerous creations had been made by monks of generations until the entire system of Shaolin Kung Fu formed. The martial monks of Shaolin Temple also helped the army of Li Shimin, the emperor of Tang Dynasty (618~907) defeat the enemy troops. In Ming Dynasty (1368~1644), Shaolin Temple also sent martial monks to southeastern coastal area to fight against Japanese pirates. Today, Shaolin Temple is the dreamland of both Kung Fu fans and Buddhist pilgrims.
Most visitors spend 1 day visiting the temple and experiencing Kung Fu culture. It you short on time, you can also visit Shaolin Temple in a half day. Classic route is to enter the scenic area and take a stop at Kung Fu Hall to watch the Kung Fu Show (about 30mins), then move on to visit the Buddhist temples, halls and other architecture. If you like natural landscape, take a cable car or hike up to Sanhuang Village (三皇寨) which is the most highlighting part of Mount Song. For an in-depth Shaolin Kung Fu training, you can spend 2 days to years. Below are the most popular Things to do in Shaolin Temple:
During your Shaolin Temple visiting, you can go to watch the stunning Kung Fu which is performed by real martial monks of Shaolin Temple, and last about 30 minutes. It is only performed during daytime. There are usually about 5~6 shows each day. You don't have to pay extra fee for this show once you have purchased the admission ticket of Shaolin Temple. Please note the show is very popular. To ensure a seat closer to the stage, you'd better get to the Martial Hall at least 30 minutes in advance. Read more about Shaolin Kung Fu Show >
If you want to learn some real Shaolin Kung Fu, you can join the Kung Fu Academy of Shaolin Temple. Reservation should be made on its official website - www.shaolin.org.cn/. There are also some other private Kungfu schools near the temple. Learn more about Shaolin Kung Fu training
Learn more Popular Dengfeng Shaolin Temple Tours!
The eighth day of April in Chinese lunar year is the Buddha's birthday, and it's one of the most important festivals in Buddhism. On this day, Shaolin abbot and all monks in the temple will praise and chant sutras, then kneel to the Shakyamuni Buddha with holding incense in their hands. After that, shower the Buddha statue with little spoon, and then use little of the same showering water to shower themselves to show thoroughly reform themselves and eliminate the future disaster. Besides the festival, tourists can experience Buddhism culture in various Buddhists halls and architecture in the temple, including Daxiong Hall, Abbot Room, Drum Tower & Bell Tower, Qianfo Hall, Tianwang Hall, Erzu'an Hall, Chuzu'an Hall, Pagoda Forest, etc.
Shaolin Pagoda Forest is the existing largest pagoda forest in China. Covering an area of 21,000m2, it houses about 230 ancient pagodas. Shaolin pagodas are the tombs for monks in the previous generation, and this place enjoys quite a reputation in the Buddhism world. When an important monk passed away, their cremains or skeleton would be put into the underground palace, and a pagoda will be built on it. The pagoda's height, size and number of layers will be decided according to the monk's Buddhism knowledge, reputation and merits and virtues when during his lifetime. The pagodas here were built in different dynasties, including 2 Tang Dynasty pagodas, 2 Song Dynasty Pagodas, 10 Jin Dynasty pagodas, 46 Yuan Dynasty pagodas, 148 Ming Dynasty pagodas, and the rest pagodas are from Qing Dynasty or unknown ages.
Sanhuang Village Scenic Resort is located in the south of Shaolin Temple, not in the temple, however, it belongs to the whole scenic area of Shaolin Temple, and the most beautiful part of Mount Song. With an area of 35km2, it's 15km from the Dengfeng city center. As a main part of Songshan National Forest Park, it's famed for its unique biological environment and geologic landforms. The forest in Sanhuang Village is nourishing and thick; various geology types can be seen here, including landforms from Archean, Proterozoic, Paleozoic, Mesozoic and Cenozoic, and this place is praised as "Natural Geological Museum."
Tourists can reach Sanhuang Village Scenic Resort by two ways. The north line is take the cable car after visiting the Shaolin Temple at the back of Shaolin Temple. The one-way ticket for the cable car is ¥50, and ¥60 for round-way ticket. The south line is take a taxi from Dengfeng city center to Sanhuang Village, and it will take about ¥40. It's suggested to visit the Sanhuang Village after finishing the Shaolin tour. The ticket for Sanhuang Village is included in the ticket of Shaolin Temple, and if you only visit the Sanhuang Village, then the entrance ticket is ¥30/person.
Shaolin Temple is one of the treasure houses of stone carving art in China, especially in the Chuzu'an Hall, there are delicate embossments in the eave column, inner supporting pillar and the surrounding place of the altar. Chuzu'an Hall was built in 1125 AD and it still reserves its original face till today. These embossments were carved when building the hall, well-designed with rough vigor, yet it's delicately beautiful.
Shaolin is located 15km southwest of Dengfeng city center. It's very convenient to get to the temple from Dengfeng City. Tourists usually need to get to Zhengzhou City or Luoyang City first, then transfer to Dengfeng, then take public bus or take taxi to Shaolin Temple from Dengfeng. It usually only takes about 15 minutes to transfer to Shaolin Temple by taxi from the Dengfeng downtown.
By Flight: 1) from Zhengzhou Xinzheng Airport in Zhengzhou: take bus from the airport to Zhengzhou Railway Station, and walk to Zhengzhou Bus Station to take a bus to Shaolin Temple; 2) from Luoyang Airport: take shuttle bus or taxi to Luoyang Bus Station, and take another bus to Shaolin Temple.
By Train: There is no railway station in Dengfeng. Tourists can take train to Zhengzhou or Luoyang first, then take bus or taxi to Shaolin Temple.
Shaolin Temple is a historical site. You can visit Shaolin Temple in any season, and the best time to visit Shaolin Temple is from March to October. The average temperature in spring(March, April, May) is about 16℃. During this time, the snow is melting and everything rouses up from sleeping; flowers blossom all over the mountain; this is the great time for relaxing and appreciating flowers. Summer is not too hot with an average temperature of 24℃, great time for travelling. Autumn is cool and it's the best time to see red leaves in Sanhuang Village Scenic Resort. While in winter, the mountain will be covered with white snow, and you can see the sublime snow scenery in here.
1. Avoid Inappropriate Appellation
To call the monks or Taoist priests in the temple, please call them "Shi" or "Fashi", for the abbot of the temple, please call him "Zhanglao", "Fangzhang" or "Chanshi". Do not call them "Chujiaren" directly, which means ascetic in English, or other insulting names.
2. Avoid Etiquette Misconduct
When meeting with the monks, the greeting ritual is putting your palms together devoutly, lower your head slightly, or rise right palm vertical to the left and lower your head slightly. The improper etiquette is handshaking, hug, rub the monk's head, etc.
3. Avoid Improper Speech
When talking with the monks, do not talk about killing, marriage or consuming animal products.
4. Avoid Inappropriate Behavior
When visiting the temple, do not make a racket, criticize or sneer at the others, or meddle with Buddhist statues or rock carvings. If encountering with Buddhist activities, please keep quiet or just walk away quietly.
The ticket for Shaolin Temple is ¥80/person, including the residential temple, Sanhuang Village Scenic Resort, Chuzu'an – Damo Cave, Pagoda Forest and Shaolin Kungfu Performance Show. Shaolin Temple Scenic Area belongs to Mount Song, and there are two other scenic areas in Mount Song, they are Songyang Scenic Area and Zhongyue Scenic Area, and each of them will charges ¥80/person for entrance.
How to Get to Dengfeng Shaolin Temple: Usually take private car from Luoyang (about 1.5 hours) or Zhengzhou (about 2 hours); or take direct bus from Luoyang (about 2 hours) and Zhengzhou (around 1.5 hours)
Top Things to Do in Shaolin Temple: See ancient Buddhist architectures; watch Shaolin Kung Fu Show; join Shaolin Kung Fu Training Program
Where to Stay During Shaolin Temple Tour: Most tourists accommodate in hotels in Dengfeng City while Shaolin Kung Fu learners can stay in Kung Fu school with basic facilities.
After arrival from Luoyang or Zhengzhou, ordinary tourists usually spend one day visiting Shaolin Temple - a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage and the birthplace of Chinese Buddhist Zen and Chinese Kung Fu (Martial Arts). One-day Shaolin Temple tour is a classic itinerary covering the best essence, which takes you to admire the sacred shrine with 7 courtyards, the Pagoda Forest and lots of ancient architectures. Besides the sightseeing, you can also watch a wonderful Shaolin Kung Fu show and even join in a short-period Kung Fu training class to learn some basic styles. Love nature and physical condition allows? Take half a day more to do an excursion on Sanhuang Village of Mount Song, walk on the amazing roads cliffside and witness unique mountain landform. (If you or your kids plan to take a longer Kung Fu learning near Shaolin Temple, you can also contact us to get more recommendations.)
If you have one more day and are quite interested in ancient Chinese culture, Luoyang is another must-visit destination in Henan (if you haven’t visited). The awesome Longmen Grottoes stretching by the riverside and China’s first Buddhist temple - White Horse Temple are iconic sites for your Luoyang tour. Still, there are many remarkable cultural and natural sights in Henan worthy your exploration, including the spectacular Yuntai Mountain, mysterious Guoliang Village, interesting Yin Ruins of Anyang, ancient capital Kaifeng, etc. Finishing your Henan tour, you may extend your journey to Beijing, Xian and other major destinations in China as you want. You can choose from our most popular China Shaolin Temple tour packages or contact us to customize a trip based on your requirements.
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Shaolin Temple and nearby Luoyang are very popular with our customers. Since 2012, we have helped thousands of customers visited the region successfully. With our fully-inclusive tour packages, all of our customers enjoyed their trips to magnificent Longmen Grottoes, legendary Shaolin Temple, educational Luoyang Museum, beautiful Yuntain Mountain, etc. Some of them even had the rare opportunities to take part in the grand International Peony Festival in Luoyang. Many customers suggest visit Luoyang with Beijing, Xian, Pingyao and Shandong in northern China to explore authentic Chinese culture. Below are some inspiring travel stories:
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Top 3 Dengfeng tours chosen by most customers to explore Dengfeng in the best way. Check the detailed itinerary, or tailor your own trip now with us.
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