- Shaolin temple in China has become a brand, especially after the Hollywood blockbuster Shaolin Temple was released in 1982
- The temple was declared a World Heritage site by UNESCO in 2010
- The temple exhibits connections to home base of Buddhism, India
China, June 6, 2017: The home of Kung fu and Zen Buddhism- Shaolin temple is one of the most visited tourist sites in China with busloads of tourists visiting the place, every year.
Despite being crowded with tourists for the most part of the year, this world heritage site is filled with serenity and reflects discipline and efficiency in its becalming environment.
The green abundance of the Songshan Mountains and the red and black buildings around the temple arena blend beautifully to give a pleasing site to the visitors.
Based in Central China’s Henan Province, the temple provides stunning natural views along with a wonderful display of one of the most disciplined sports, Kung fu. No wonder, the tourists are ready to spend a few extra bucks to visit this place and be an audience to the harmonious combination of Mahayana Buddhism and China’s Taoism.
The temple has a 1500-year-old rich history in which it has been destroyed and resurrected many times. The origin of this temple can be traced back to the reign of Emperor Xiaowen, who had set up the monastery as an abode for Buddhabhadra, a wandering Indian Buddhist monk. Buddhabhadra is credited with laying the foundations for Kung Fu besides spreading Nikaya Buddhism, mentioned The Hindu report.
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Shaolin temple’s Indian Connection –
It is not known to many but Shaloin temple has an age old connection with India, the home base of Buddhism.
• It is believed that prominent Indian figure, Bodhidharma, arguably, steered the temple’s spiritual direction towards Zen Buddhism. Legends say that the monk belonged to present day Tamil Nadu or Kerala and landed up in China on the urgings of Prajnatara, his ageing guru.
• History of both the nations suggests that Zen Buddhism and Kung Fu are takeaways of a Sino-Indian spiritual fusion.
• China’s famous Buddhist grottoes also exhibit trans- Himalayan relations in their art and architecture.
• The Mogao grottoes, housed in hundreds of intricately painted caves, in dry Gobi desert, show the epic journey of Buddhism from India to China.
– prepared by Nikita Tayal of NewsGram. Twitter: @NikitaTayal6