Shaolin Monastery: Spectacular in Sight

Shaolin Monastery is situated in Song Mountain, Dengfeng City, which, in turn, is situated in Henan Province. It is regarded as the ‘Number 1 temple under Heaven.’ Shaolin Monastery made it to UNESCO’s World Heritage List in 2010. Shaolin Monastery is the focal point for Chinese Zen Buddhism and Martial Arts, including Shaolin Cudgel. Over the mountains one can get a spectacular glimpse of pines and wild flowers. The scene is completed with the singing birds and spattering brooks.

Shaolin Monastery
has wonderful attractions, including Hall of Heavenly Kings, Pagoda Forest, Mahavira Hall, Shaolin Temple Martial Art Training Center, and Dharma Cave. Visitors can avail of the virtual guide at the Shaolin monastery.

Visitors first encounter the Shanmen Hall. The hall is adorned with a tablet, which reads ‘Shaolin Temple’. Emperor Kangxi is believed to be the brainchild behind the inscription. This happened during the Qing Dynasty. Two stone lions lie beneath the stairs, belonging to the Ming dynasty. The Maitreya Buddha is enshrined within the hall. The sides of the corridor that lie behind the hall’s gate are adorned with inscriptions on steles made of stones.

The Hall of Heavenly Kings arrives next. The hall’s gate has been guarded by two figures that depict Vajra, who are none other than Buddhist warrior attendants. Within the hall are figures that depict the Four Heavenly Kings. They are believed to be responsible for guiding the behavior of people. They bless the individuals and help those in trouble.

Next lies Mahavira Hall. The center of the complex lies right before you. The hall is home to crucial celebrations as well as prayer meetings. The eastern and southern walls are home to eighteen Buddhist Arhats. Buddhas belonging to the Middle, East, and West are encapsulated within the hall. They include Sakyamuni Buddha, Pharmacist Buddha, and Amitabha Buddha, respectively.

Kingnaro was the founder of the Shaolin Cudgel, and Dharma founded Chinese Zen Buddhism. These two figures occupy an important place in the Mahavira Hall. The stone lions stand at an impressive height of one meter. There are nearly 50 pits in the ground. It is rumored that these were the footprints of monks, while they indulged in Shaolin Martial Arts.

Pagoda Forest is a graveyard for dignitaries of Buddhism in the Shaolin Monastery. The pagodas are nearly 15 meters high. Many factors determine the layer and shape of a pagoda. One’s status and prestige play an important role. The Pagoda Forest located in the Shaolin Monastery is the largest of its kind in the country.

The two monasteries within the Shaolin Temple include Ancestor’s Monastery and Second Ancestor’s Monastery. The former has been built by a disciple of dharma. This was done to celebrate nine years of Dharma’s meditation inside a cave.

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