Influenced by TV series and movies, I have been dreaming about visiting Shaolin Temple and even learning Kungfu in Shaolin Temple! Now, I dare not expect learning Kungfu any more for being too old for that but I do really want to watch Kungfu performed by Shaolin monks. Last week, I eventually got the opportunity to explorer it in person.
There were wild flowers and pines on the Song Mountain. Once stepping onto the mountain, A beautiful scene full of life and vitality poured into my sight. I could hear birds singing and brook spattering,
First we saw the Shanmen Hall. Hung on its top was a tablet reading ‘Shaolin Temple’. Linda from Chinaholidays told us the tablet was inscribed by the Emperor Kangxi during the Qing Dynasty. Under the stairs of the hall crouched two stone lions. The hall enshrined the Maitreya Buddha. Two sides of the corridor behind the hall’s gate were paved with inscriptions on stone steles made during several different dynasties.
Next we arrived at the Hall of Heavenly Kings. The gate of the hall is guarded by two figures depicting Vajra (Buddhist warrior attendants). Inside the hall were figures of the Four Heavenly Kings who were responsible for inspecting peoples’ behavior, helping the troubled, and blessing the people.
Unexpectedly, we came to the Pagoda Forest, a graveyard for Buddhist dignitaries through the ages. The pagodas were very high. Linda told that the Pagoda Forest in Shaolin Temple was the largest of China’s pagoda complexes.
In a word, Shaolin Temple is worthy of a visit. It will give you a better understanding of Chinese Buddhism and the martial arts.