Shaolin Temple: Kung Fu’s home

Happy Buddha.

Happy Buddha.

Shaolin Monastery or Shaolin Temple is a Buddhist temple on Mount Song, near Zhengzhou, Henan province. Founded in the fifth century, the monastery is long famous for its association with Chinese martial arts and particularly with Shaolin Kung Fu and it is the best known Mahayana Buddhist monastery to the Western world. The shào refers to Shaoshi Mountain on which the Temple is situated. The word lín means “forest”.

The monastery has been destroyed and rebuilt many times.

A dull smoggy day.

A dull smoggy day.

The roof.

The roof.

Roof detail on a secondary building, with weeds.

Roof (with weeds) detail on a secondary building.

The Cultural Revolution, launched in 1966, targeted religious orders including the monastery. The government purged Buddhist materials from within the monastery walls, leaving it barren for years.

These statues were very intimidating; but I do not know who they are.

These statues were very intimidating; but I do not know who they are.

Incense was offered.

Incense was offered.

I believe this vessel would have contained oil, not incense burners. As you can see, I had wandered away to take pictures (naughty me) so I didn't hear what the guide was telling people about the pot.

I believe this vessel would have contained oil, not incense burners. As you can see, I had wandered away to take pictures (naughty me) so I didn’t hear what the guide was telling people about the pot.

The long view (after a very long day.)

The long view (after a very long day.)

Up until the last post, Kung Fu Kids,  I had been posting in quite strict chronological order from the tour I took in September/October 2013.  So, in case anyone is paying attention, I missed a post on the Longmen Caves.  I’ll post that after the third set of pictures I took at Shaolin – of the Pagoda Forest.  (And to be truthful, we visited the forest before the temple.) Shaolin Monastery and its famed Pagoda Forest (next post) were inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2010.

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3 comments on “Shaolin Temple: Kung Fu’s home

  1. Denis says:

    Your posts are beautifully illustrated and very informative Joan, thanks so much for sharing.

  2. Very nice pictures. Makes us feel as if we are there with you.

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