Shaolin Temple is reputed to be 'the Number One Temple under Heaven'. Shaolin Temple’s history can date back to Northern Wei Dynasty (386 - 534), and it played an important role on the development of the Buddhism in China. As Chinese Kungfu also originated from Shaolin Temple, it has been recognized as the origin of Kungfu. The Emperor Xiaowen of the Northern Wei dynasty (386-557) had the temple built to accommodate the Indian master Batuo (Buddhabhadra). Shaolin Temple literally means “temple in the thick forests of Shaoshi Mountain”.
Included on UNESCO's World Cultural & Natural Heritage List in 2010, it is the cradle of the Chinese Zen Buddhism and the Shaolin Martial Arts such as Shaolin Cudgel. Shaolin Temple embraces many exciting attractions, such as the Hall of Heavenly Kings (Tianwangdian), the Mahavira Hall (Daxiongbaodian), the Pagoda Forest, the Dharma Cave and the Martial Art Training Center.
The first Shaolin Monastery abbot was Batuo, a master who came to China from India or from Greco-Buddhist Central Asia in 464 AD to spread Buddhist teachings. Later, another Indian monk Bodhidharma arrived at Shaolin Temple, who was said to have crossed the Yangtze River on a reed. He spent nine years meditating in a cave of the Wuru Peak and initiated the Chinese Chan tradition at Shaolin Temple. Thereafter, Bodhidharma was honored as the first Patriarch of Chan Buddhism.
Opening hours: 7:30 - 17:30
Recommended visiting time: 3-4 hours
Location: Northwestern part of Dengfeng District, Zhengzhou City, Henan Province
Transportation: From Dengfeng, you can take a taxi to the temple and it costs around CNY30.
1. Take a bus from Zhengzhou Central Bus Station to Shaolinsi directly. The bus departs at 7:00, 8:00, 8:50, 9:40, 10:10, and 11:00.
2. Take a bus to Dengfeng and then take a taxi to the temple. The buses to Dengfeng depart from Zhengzhou Central Bus Station, General Bus Station, North Bus Station and a bus station near the Zhengzhou East Railway Station.