If you are a Chinese Kung Fu fan, you must have heard Shaolin Kung Fu, the most representative branch of Chinese Kung Fu. A special visit to Shaolin Temple to know about the origin and the legends of Shaolin Kung Fu will be an important part of your China Kung Fu tour. This well-designed Shaolin Temple Kung Fu tour will arrange a fabulous Shaolin Kung Fu Show for you and different types of Shaolin Kung Fu will be demonstrated by professional Shaolin monks during the show. Furthermore, you will take an extended tour in Luoyang, an ancient capital of China, to explore its history. Don’t hesitate anymore. Come and discover the mysteries of Shaolin Kung Fu with us!
In the morning, you will have your breakfast in the hotel. Then, your private tour guide will pick you up from the hotel and transfer you to Shaolin Temple. Located in Dengfeng, 80 kilometers east of Luoyang, it takes about 1.5 hours to drive to Shaolin Temple.
Shaolin Temple is a world-renowned Buddhist temple and the birthplace of Chinese Zen Buddhism (an indigenous form of Chinese Buddhism). In 530 in the Northern Wei Dynasty (386-534), Monk Bodhidharma, one of the 28th-generation Buddhists of Sakyamuni, arrived at Shaolin Temple. He first propagandized Zen Buddhism here, which had a great influence on the development of Chinese Buddhism. Therefore, Shaolin Temple has been referred to as the “Ancestral Chamber of Chinese Zen Buddhism” and developed rapidly. Especially in the Tang Dynasty (618-907), after thirteen monks rescued Li Shimin (the second emperor of the Tang Dynasty) from the rebel forces, Shaolin Temple was highly valued by the emperors of the Tang Dynasty and prospered unprecedentedly. Thus, it won the reputation of “The Most Famous Temple in the World”.
Upon arrival, you will first follow your guide to visit the main architectures along the central axis of Shaolin Temple. Then you will go to visit the cemetery of Shaolin monks – Pagoda Forest. Covering an area of 14,000 square meters, more than 240 pagodas are standing solemnly. Take a careful look at these pagodas. In general, they have the same structure with a base, a pagoda body, and a pagoda top. However, they are also different from each other. From the appearance, you can see round and square pagodas with different layers; from the building material, you can see stone and brick pagodas. Every pagoda is telling the life stories of the monk buried under it.
As we all know, Shaolin Temple is also the cradle of Chinese martial arts and most famous for its Shaolin Kung Fu. Initially, Shaolin monks began to practice Kung Fu to protect the temple’s property from looting during wartime. Since the feudal government did not allow private possession of weapons at that time, they used wooden sticks as weapons to practice martial arts. As a result, the monks practicing Kung Fu with wooden sticks were called “stick monks”. During the early Tang Dynasty (618-907), a former general of the Sui Dynasty (581-618), named Wang Shichong, proclaimed himself emperor in Luoyang and occupied a vast tract of land belonging to Shaolin Temple as a military base. Dissatisfied with Wang Shichong’s plunder and ravage, 13 Shaolin “stick monks” captured Wang Shichong and brought him to Li Shimin (the leading general of the Tang army and the second son of the first Emperor Li Yuan of the Tang Dynasty), which made great contributions to the stability of the Tang empire. After the war, Li Shimin succeeded to the throne and became the second emperor of the Tang Dynasty. He gave great rewards to the 13 “stick monks” of Shaolin Temple, which not only made Shaolin Temple honorable but also made Shaolin Kung Fu famous all over China.
Then you will enjoy an outdoor Shaolin Kung Fu Show to round off your Shaolin Temple tour. There are five performances every day and each lasts for 30 minutes. You can see a variety of Shaolin Kung Fu styles including Kung Fu with bare hands and with different weapons, such as wooden sticks, whips, spears, and swords. You will definitely be amazed by their powerful and masterly Kung Fu performance.
And then we will drive back to Luoyang.
Free Time Idea:
If you want to take a walk after dinner, Luoyi Ancient City is recommended to you. Luoyi is the ancient name of Luoyang. There are historical relics surviving from ancient times, such as Wenfeng Pagoda, Tuoling Palace, and Ancient City Wall. At the same time, archaistic architectures with Ming and Qing styles have been built to harmonize the whole scenic area. The night view of Luoyi Ancient City is absolutely gorgeous with colorful lights. You can also appreciate the spectacular Wenfeng Pagoda light show which is magnificent and fascinating. There are some boutique stores, such as traditional Chinese dress shops, wine shops, as well as traditional stationers. Walking along the streets of Luoyi Ancient City will bring you back to the ancient capital Luoyang thousands of years ago.
This morning, you are going to visit White Horse Temple, 20 kilometers (half an hour’s drive) northeast of Luoyang. It is the first Buddhist temple built in China, which was first established in 68 under the patronage of Emperor Liu Zhuang in the Eastern Han Dynasty (25-220). Starting from the White Horse Temple, Buddhism began to spread in China, then diffused into North Korea, Japan, and Southeast Asia, and later entered Europe and the Americas. Therefore, it has become a holy land for Buddhist believers all over the world. Devout Buddhists take pride in receiving Buddhist precepts at White Horse Temple. Some countries also made great contributions to the temple. Since the end of the 19th century, Japan has donated money to rebuild the Bell Tower in the temple; the governments of Thailand, India, and Myanmar also have successively financed the reconstruction of the temple. Thus, the White Horse Temple has become a unique fusion of different architectural styles from China, India, Thailand, and Myanmar.
After lunch, Longmen Grottoes is waiting for you to explore. We will drive southwest about 30 minutes (25 kilometers) to get there. It is a huge Buddhist art trove with 2,345 existing Buddhist grottoes and over 100,000 Buddha statues. The Longmen Grottoes was first built in the Northern Wei Dynasty (386-534). The construction lasted more than 400 years and reached its peak during the Tang Dynasty. From the Northern Wei Dynasty to the early Tang Dynasty, the statues of Buddha enshrined in each cave of the Longmen Grottoes were all male-looking. However, the turning point came with the completion of the statue of Vairocana Buddha, the largest and most magnificent statue in Longmen Grottoes. It has obvious female characteristics with rounded cheeks, a plump body, pretty eyes, and a gentle smile. It is said that this Buddha statue was carved according to the appearance of Wu Zetian, the only female emperor in Chinese history. This fabulous statue symbolized her ambition of being the greatest emperor and goddess worshipped by the whole world.
Author: Lingyun Zhou
Proofreader: Betsy He
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About your child or infant, please contact us for a discounted price.
We started with a few days in Beijing & ended in Shanghai, from where we visited the Forbidden City and Great Wall. In between we visited Terra Cotta Warriors Museum, Panda Base, Shanghai Disneyland.
We had a wonderful holiday in China which will remain long in the memory. China is a breathtakingly beautiful country full of splendid temples and palaces, mountains and rivers, peaceful rural scenes and bustling shopping streets.