“Zen ancestral hall, martial arts resort” – Shaolin Temple, Songshan

Songshan Shaolin Temple, which is well-known both at home and abroad, is located at the West foot of Zhongyue Songshan Mountain, about kilometers northwest of Dengfeng City, Henan Province. It is located in Shaoshi mountain, backed by wuru peak, surrounded by mountains, high and low scattered; lush forests, pleasant scenery. It is not only a famous Buddhist temple with a long history in China, but also the birthplace of Chinese Buddhist Zen and Shaolin martial arts, known as “Zen ancestral hall, martial arts resort”.

In the 19th year of Taihe in the Northern Wei Dynasty (A.D.), Emperor Yuanhong of Xiaowen set up a temple for the placement of the venerable Indian monk jiantuo, which was named “Shaolin Temple” because it was located in the jungle at the northern foot of Shaoshi mountain. In the third year of Xiaochang in the Northern Wei Dynasty (AD), more than 30 years after the completion of Shaolin Temple, Bodhidharma, an eminent Indian monk, traveled across the sea to China, through Guangzhou and Nanjing, and then “Yiping across the river” to mount song. Founded in the year of facing the cave, and spread Buddhism and Zen in Shaolin Temple, Shaolin Temple became the ancestral hall of Zen. In the early Tang Dynasty, because of the “Thirteen stick monks saving the king of Tang” in Shaolin Temple, it was granted by the Emperor Taizong of Tang Dynasty. It can always prepare monks and soldiers to practice Shaolin martial arts. Since then, Shaolin Temple has gained a great reputation and is known as “the best Temple in the world”. In the Ming Dynasty, Shaolin monks had participated in the Anti Japanese war many times and built miraculous works. Therefore, Shaolin Temple was rewarded by the court and became famous all over the world.

Shaolin Temple scenic area is composed of the main tourist attractions, such as Shaolin hospital, Tallinn, chuzu’an, erzu’an, Shifang temple, damodong, martial arts museum, etc. Chang in hospital is the main building of Shaolin temple built on the mountain. The central axis has seven entrances, including the mountain gate, Tianwang hall, Daxiong hall, sutra Pavilion, Abbot’s room, Da Mo Pavilion and Thousand Buddha Hall. On both sides, there are buildings such as jinnaluo hall, liuzu hall, east-west Zen hall, Baiyi hall, and Tibet hall, with a total area of more than 10000 square meters. It is the place where the abbot and the deacons of the temple conduct Buddhist activities and daily life. It is also known as the “Shaolin Temple” by people.

Songshan Shaolin Temple has a long history and profound cultural accumulation. In 1983, the State Council determined it as a national key Buddhist temple. In May 2007, Shaolin Temple scenic spot was officially approved as the first batch of national tourist attractions by the National Tourism Administration. In August 2010, the “heaven and earth” historical buildings including Shaolin Temple were listed in the world heritage list by the 34th World Heritage conference of UNESCO 。

At the beginning of the temple building, the Northern Wei Dynasty needed Buddhism to rule, and Shaolin Temple was prosperous; at the end of Sui Dynasty and the beginning of Tang Dynasty, the development of Shaolin Temple was very fast because of the great contribution of thirteen monks to save the king of Tang Dynasty; by the time of song and Yuan Dynasty, the “Shaolin school” Wushu gradually matured, and the Wushu system basically formed and expanded its external influence; during the Qing Dynasty, Shaolin Temple was driven to move towards because of political impact and other factors In the period of the Republic of China, it was burned by warlords. In this period of history, wars and disputes and the government’s religious policies have become the main factors affecting the passenger flow fluctuation of Shaolin Temple.

After the reform and opening up, with the support of the local government and the development of the commercial operation mode, the cultural resources of Shaolin Temple have been greatly developed and utilized. The popularity of the film “Shaolin Temple” in and the Songshan scenic area, Shaolin Temple, as the core, were determined as the first batch of national scenic spots by the State Council, which accelerated the development of cultural tourism of Shaolin Temple, and the number of tourists increased day by day. In, Shaolin Temple established “Shaolin Temple boxing Research Association” and carried out the collection and publication of Shaolin martial arts classics. This time can be roughly regarded as the beginning of the industrialization of Shaolin temple cultural resources. In, the Shaolin Wushu team was founded, and later developed into a monk group, gradually touring around the country. “Shaolin calligraphy and Painting Research Association” was established in. In, the “Chinese Zen Poetry Research Association” was established, and the annual collection of “Chinese Zen poetry” was edited and published. In the same month, Taiwan authorities also invited the Shaolin Buddhist cultural group to visit Taiwan for cultural exchanges. “Shaolin Temple charity and Welfare Foundation” was established. In, a large-scale activity of “the anniversary celebration of Shaolin Temple” was planned, prepared and held, which was unprecedented. In 1997, Chan Lu magazine was founded. Subsequently, a Shaolin martial arts school was established to teach and perform Shaolin martial arts; the establishment of Shaolin medicine bureau was restored to popularize Shaolin medicine; Henan Shaolin Temple film and Television Co., Ltd. was established to film the new “Shaolin Temple” and the TV series “the legend of Shaolin Temple monks and soldiers”; a network station of Shaolin Temple was established to continuously launch cultural tourism products and promote Shaolin culture. In, a large-scale live performance “Zen Shaolin music ceremony” and the previous dance drama “Shaolin in the wind” were held, which were deeply loved by tourists. It has also designed and produced tourism commodities such as Shaolin Zhijian, Buddha carving, plain cake and Zen tea, gradually developed scenic and cultural tourism routes such as sanhuangzhai, erzu’an and damodong, and built cable cars and slideways. Shaolin Temple scenic area has formed a series of cultural tourism products, such as temple tour, martial arts study, music ceremony and so on. It has become a tourist attraction that people yearn for.

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