Shaolin Temples in China

The Shaolin Temple was built in 496 AD, and hosted a Buddhist monk named Bada. The temple became known for its teachings of Zen, and the martial art Kung Fu. From 1368 to 1644 the monastery preformed a military role and housed as many as 1000 trained monks. Between 1644 and 1928 the Shaolin Temple was attacked and destroyed three times, yet about 230 tombs and quite a large number of relics have survived.

A visitor to the Shaolin Temple today they find a number of buildings or structures on the site. There is the Bell Tower, and the Drum Tower, both of which are Chinese temples. There is also a building called the Hall of the Heavenly Kings, Mahavira Hall, and the Sutra-Keeping Pavilion.

The Mahavira Hall was restored in 1986 and was the temples main building during the Jin Dynasty. In the late 1980’s tourism to the area became so popular that the temple became a school to some 10,000 students interested in learning the martial art King Fu. Since then however a new abbot took charge and redirected the institution to its former glory and the practice of teaching Zen meditation and beliefs.

The Shaolin Temple is probably one of the most frequently visited tourist areas in the region. The reason for this popularity may have been the result of a popular TV show, or it may have been for some other reason. Either way, the Shaolin temple should be a must see on your list of things to do, during a visit to China.

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