The ancient architectural complex consists of the Shaolin Temple 7 main rooms on its axis, flanked by several buildings on each side. It covers 160 meters wide and over 360 meters in length, covering an area of 57600 m. So this is a vast complex very attractive by many points of view: historical, archaeological and artistic.
Outside the main gate of the Temple flows the river Shao-xi, while a forest of tall pine trees, envelops and protects. This natural setting inspired you to call the Ba-Temple “Shao-lin”, two Chinese characters that are actually the abbreviated form of the phrase "In the depths of the forest that grows on the hill Shao-shi. "
The court living
The "Corte abitabile", surrounded by old red walls, is the main building of the Temple and covers an area of 30 thousand square meters. The interior layout of the "Court habitable", consists of symmetrical buildings on either side of a central axis is characteristic of the sacred temples of the Chinese Buddhist. Although the architectural style is Chinese, also has a touch of Indian culture, So like many other temples in China, could easily be mistaken for a Hindu Temple, full of gods similar to those of the Indian pantheon.
The front door
The entrance of the temple built in 1735, during the reign of Emperor Yong Zheng of the Qing Dynasty-, consists of a portal with two leaves, placed on a brick terrace feet tall, reached by a central staircase of fifteen steps, at whose feet, on both sides on the sides, columns are located two and a half feet high, surmounted by large stone effigies of two Chinese lions.
The portal is surmounted inscription "Shao Lin"(Shaolin Temple), on which the Emperor Kang Xi in- 1704 wrote: “Bi-Yu Kang Xi Zhi Bao” (Emperor Kang-Xi has favored the person writing the temple in this place).According to "History of Shaolin Temple", This table was previously exposed to the front door of the "Hall of Heavenly Kings" (Dian Tianwang).
On either side of the main entrance there are two other small revenue, built during the Ming Dynasty. the stones of the horizontal secondary entrances are graced by carvings of two lions playing with balls of silk and two phoenixes that greet the sun, fashion decorations in the Ming Dynasty.
On the western side of the arch is no external horizontal inscription says: "Founded by Your-Ba" and another inscription nearby states: "Mahayana saint luogo". The eastern arch was built in the fifth month of the 22 th year of the reign of Emperor Jia Jing-Ming (1543), and West was built in the fall of 34 th year of the same kingdom (1555). Within the portal can be seen, in a glass, the golden gods of the Maitreya Buddha smiles in welcome.
Beilin- The forest of steles
The scenery is lovely outside of the Temple, while the interior looks like a forest of steles. When you enter you are greeted by a large number of steles, or tables, in perfect order on both sides as to welcome visitors. A poem by Jing-Qing says rizhen: "The ancient steles expand to fill the yard like in the sky. Some high, some short, some fine or slender, all bring great memories. In the shade of the pines of the earth mistica.Che Believe it or not,Many of these inscriptions are been made by hand by master teachers "The inscriptions of these steles are a valuable material for the study of this Temple.
For long-- The stele corridor
And 'the adjoining hall where they were erected, from the Northern Qi dynasty (550-589 dC), more than fifty precious stone tablets. In the corridor you can find a stela stelae of the period of the Tang Dynasty, handwritten by the Emperor Lishimin.
Tang Chui-pu-Hall of Kung-fu
On the left of the forest of steles is a quadrangular courtyard traditional Chinese architecture: Tang Chui-pu la , or "Hall of kung-fu" . It was built in 1984. In the corridor of the court, which occupies an area of 870 square meters, are 236 wooden sculptures and terracotta, gathered into fourteen groups that illustrate the history and the martial arts of Shaolin Temple. Two groups: Tso-Chan (sitting meditation) e Pao-Jing (circumambulation reciting the scriptures the Lord Buddha) show the religious life of monks; other illustrating the basic method of training and technical details of the main styles of Shaolin kung-fu and finally a group of statues reminiscent of the merits of the Shaolin warrior monks in Chinese history, such as the statues of the thirteen monks who saved the Emperor of Tang Dynasty, using only the stick as a weapon; those of the expedition led by Xiao-Shan Yue-Kong and the Monaco that resisted against the Japanese invaders.
Dian-Taiwang the Hall of Heavenly Kings
Just out of the forest of steles, front of the rooms and Daxiong Cangjing Ge, dian is the Taiwang, the Hall of Heavenly Kings, also known as the "Three large rooms", on which exterior wall, during the Qing Dynasty, hung a sign with Chinese characters that meant six: "Genuine birthplace of Buddhism." According to "History of Shaolin Temple", before the fire of 1928 There were two groups of statues inside the room, two vajras (Buddha's warrior attendants) in front of goal and four heavenly kings as guardians at the door. In the recent reconstruction of all the statues have been restored. The four heavenly kings are devas or divine beings, according to the Vedic scriptures and Buddhist doctrine, live on Mount Sumeru as guardians of the first in a series of seven planetary systems, and superintendents of one of the world's.Chiguo the "Guardian of the State", dressed in white holding a pipe (Chinese Lute), lies to the east; Guang-mu l’“Acuto veggente”, dressed in red with a red silk rope in hand, is west; Zheng-zhang, the "Protector of growth", dressed in black carrying a sword, lies to the south and Duowen the "Protector of Knowledge", dressed in green stone pillar that supports a, is to the north.
Zhong-lou The Bell Tower
Beyond the Hall of Heavenly Kings on the right is the Zhong lou, "The Bell Tower", one of the tallest buildings of the tower was burned Tempio.Quando, The original bell, two meters high and wide 1,70, thick, from four to twelve inches from top to bottom and heavy 5500 chili, which according to the inscription was installed in 1204, fell to the ground breaking; so now rests near the new tower rebuilt. According to "History of Shaolin Temple", The bell could be heard in thirty of them (fifteen kilometers) away. In the ruins of the bell tower there are two other high statue is the reliquie.Una 175 inches, Ksitigarbha of shaved sitting cross-legged on a lotus-shaped pedestal, kasaya with shoulders and chest discovered.
The other is a table called "Inscription on a bronze cast of the divinity of Maitreya", located in the northeast corner of the tower. The information board says: "The bell tower is a spacious hall with four layers of eaves. It is one of the largest structures of the Temple, more than high 33 m. The original building was destroyed in 1928 and rebuilt in 1994 based on the ancient model. The bell hung in the tower weighs about 6500 chili. The deity of the Bodhisattva Dizang (Ksitigarbha), and seventy five feet high and weighing more than 5000 chili, was installed in the first year of Emperor Hong-Zhi of the Ming Dynasty. "
Tai-zong Wenhuangdi Yushubei – Three religions and nine schools
Between the two towers there are five memorial stones, erected in a row. Initial recognition to repair the Shaolin Temple 1829, by Yang Guozhen-; the second the renewal of the "Hall of the Thousand Buddhas" in 1776, under the care of Zhen-Youreng. The third inscription is a poem called "Ode to Mount Song-shan and the Shaolin Temple", written by Wang-Shanjong, during the Ming Dynasty and The fourth table Damo illustrates that crosses the river, Chang-Jiang (Yang-Tze) on a stick and the subjugation of the demon-Zhong Kui, painted by the Lang-Jianting 1624. The fifth table is very important for the study of the history of Shaolin Temple, this is a book concerned with the genealogy Imperial disciplic of the five schools Chan Buddhist Order, starting from Bodhidharma. In 728 dC, a memorial inscription, known as Tai Zong-Wenhuangdi Yushubei, composed of 38 lines, each of eight Chinese characters, was erected near the bell tower of the Temple, where today there is also the stele Hunyuan San Jiu Jian-liu-tuzan Beike, "Three religions and new schools". The text was dictated by the Emperor Tai Zong-, whose signature is in the fifth line, during his visit to Monastery, the thirtieth day of the fourth lunar month of the fourth year of Tang Dynasty (621). The document praises the monks who helped him to defeat Wang Shichong-text documents and reports in favor of Imperial promulgated in those years the Shaolin Temple (621,625,632 and 723) and historical events relating to the Temple, from its foundation to the reign of Emperor Xuan Zong- (712-742).
Gu-lou-Drum Tower
To the north-west of the Hall Tianwang, in front of the bell tower, stands the Gu-lou, the "Drum Tower ", originally built in 1300, under the reign of Emperor Cheng-Zong Yuan Dynasty. After fire destroyed the carved stone columns, remained the pedestals and the threshold of stone. According to the testimonies of the ancient inscriptions size, the shape of the building and the frescoes, were larger and beautiful before it was destroyed. Inside the tower there is an image of Buddha and the information board says: "The drum tower was built in Yuan Dynasty, destroyed in 1928 and rebuilt in 1996 on the old model. Inside the tower is the largest hand drum made in all of China. When the drum and the bell ring simultaneously, can be heard on more than thirty of them away.
Tang Jinnaluo–The room kimnaras
To the east and north of the hall Daxiong Bell Tower is located Jinnaluo Tang, room kimnaras, a structure with three rooms that were once devoted three great deities of jin-na-luo (Kimnara): a copper on the left, one of wood in the middle and an iron on the right. According to Buddhist doctrine, Kimnaras is one of the eight guardian deities who is considered the guardian of the Shaolin Temple. The original hall was destroyed by the war in 1928 and 1982 was rebuilt and repainted.
Liu Zu-Tang–The hall of the Six Saints
Just in front of the room kimnaras, is the building with three rooms of Liu Zu-Tang, "You are the Hall of Saints" who attended a hearing with Avalokitesvara (or Bodhisattva Guanyin): Bodhidharma, Ke-Hui, Bed-Jie, Dao-Xin, Hong Hui-Neng Ren e. Their images, placed on the tabernacle, around the deity Avalokitesvara, and twenty-nine portraits of famous Shaolin masters of different generations, painted on the side walls, were destroyed in the war of 1928. Rebuilt and repainted in 1982, Now the room keeps the images of five jade Bodhisattva: Guanyin, Wenshu, Puxian, Dizang and Dashizhi. On both sides are installed terracotta colored images of the founder of Chan-zong (Damo). On the side walls of the room, are the relief sculptures that illustrate how Damo forded the River Yang-Tze on a stick.
Daxiong baodian–The room Daxiong
At the center of all the buildings of the Temple, is situated Daxiong baodian, the "Stately room”, also called the “Sala Centrale” or “Grande Sala”, The building consists of five rooms two gutters, where the monks perform their services. Before its destruction in 1928, which survived only the platform, and three columns of stone walls, installed inside the room there were the gods of Sakhyamuni, Amitayas (Amida Buddha) and Bhaisajyagura. Internal lintel hung a banner with the words horizontal: "Precious trees, fragrant lotus ", written by Emperor Kang Xi in- 1704 and against the wall was a sign Buddhist with various weapons. L’insegna “Da-xiong Baodian” was located under the eaves of the central room. The Daxiong baodian was restored during the Ming and Qing, So many of the finds date from that period. A portion of the wall and carved stones unearthed recently testified that the original construction dates back to 1169. The inscription says the current: "The" Daxiong Hall "was destroyed by war 1928 and rebuilt on the old model in 1985. It is a magnificent building with double eaves and a roof of a bright green. Inside the room are installed deities of the three great Buddhas, the founder of Chan-Zong (Bodhidharma) and the guardian deity kimnaras. In addition, the side walls, There are deities of Damo and eighteen arhat (luohan) covered by a gold foil. The hall is the main place where Daxiong the Buddhist Shaolin perform their religious functions. "
Cang jing ge-–The bibblioteca
Near the jinnaluo Tang is the Cang jing ge-, or Fa Tang, "Sala Dharma", built in the Ming Dynasty (and renovated in the Qing Dynasty) to preserve the Buddhist Scriptures, including some ancient engraved on copper plates, and as a place of preaching for eminent monks. The "History of Shaolin Temple" says: “Nel 1743, we began to keep in the room: The Buddhist Scriptures, the "Stone of the Shadow of Bodhidharma", picture books of Shaolin kung-fu and Buddhist sticks. "Originally the hall was a deity of Damo and currently there is a large iron cauldron with a diameter of 167 inches, deep 84 inches, thickness of two centimeters, often on the edge of which seven cm incision remember the date of manufacture, in November 1577 and its weight, 1300 jin (650 chili). In front of the cauldron, there is a great millstone, which brings the written: "Built in 1565". The divinity of the Buddha of white jade, you today is, Monaco was installed by the eminent Yang Guang-Fo-Burma, and most of the priceless texts, renowned for their unique cultural value, a copy of the original manuscripts are drawn by the Monks, during the Qing Dynasty. Once, There was also a holy book, monastic handed down through generations of Shaolin Temple, it was called: "Records of the brilliant military exploits, performed by the most eminent monks of Shaolin Monastery's history ". The book was kept in a reliquary on the altar of "Hall of Mahavira" and contained a list of names of many heroic monks of Shaolin, who performed acts of valor, extraordinarily unusual and businesses. Every year, the first day, of the tenth lunar month, it was customary to observe: "The Feast of Souls disappeared", in which the abbot, Memorial in front of a congregation of Shaolin Monks, chanting all the names recorded in the book, and each name the congregation performed three full bows, pay homage to the soul disappeared. This ceremony, urged the new generation of monks, to keep alive the glorious tradition of the Monastery, undergoing more sincerely and assiduously training martial. Rester eternally deplorevole, that suffered the disaster in the Monastery 1928 when, Shi Yousan reducing the Temple burned to ashes this book, along with the Buddhist Scriptures, the manual of Shaolin kung-fu and all the precious cultural relics preserved in the "Hall of Mahavira". In 1992 the governor of Henan Province, Li-Changchun, appropriated one million yuan for the reconstruction of Dharma Hall, and before his recent death, Reverend Shi-Su-Shi, has devoted the last years of his life, the recovery of precious memories Shaolin Order, filling several volumes of philosophy and martial arts internal and external handed down for centuries in the Monastery. This was possible, because when the Venerable Master went into the Monastery, the age of eleven, Reverend Shi-Zhen Xu-, his tutor, used it once to the study of Buddhist scriptures and the Shaolin Temple Martial, instructed him on a daily basis and moral codes of the Monaco Warrior. Thanks to his efforts, the new generation of Masters, is reviving the lost culture of Shaolin martial
Fang-zhang–Abbot's Room
To the north lies the Hall of Dharma-Fang Zhang, the "Stanza dell'Abate", the residence where the Abbot lives and performs his daily duties, built during the reign of Emperor Qian Long of the Qing Dynasty- (1750). In September 1750, when he visited the Mount Song and the Shaolin Temple, Emperor Gao Zong-Qing, stayed in this room, which has since also called Long-ting, "Hall of the Dragon." In 1386, on the east side in front of the room, was installed weight of the iron bell 325 chili, that bears the names engraved Abbot Xi-An and the Monaco Japanese Shoogen. Since Shoogen saw service in the Temple as a secretary, often referred to the Secretary Shoogen. The bronze deities installed in the room of the Abbot Dharma, was donated by the monks of the Shaolin Temple in Japan, to commemorate the sponsorship of the Temple in Henan. On the west-Fang Zhang, in front of which stood during the Qing Dynasty carved archway, there is a lounge where seniors can rest abbots, and on the east side there is another house originally called Kuo-Ran Tang, "Quiet Room" today known as Zhong-Jing-Jing, ("More quiet stillness of the same"), built during the Ming Dynasty and repeatedly restored. On the south wall of the courtyard of the abbot, There are more than twenty stones carved by visitors, with images of Hui and Damo-K with one shoe; Ke-Hui on with poems and inscriptions glorifying Guanyin.La-Fang Zhang was the last building to be destroyed by fire in 1928, and now the rooms in this wing are the residences of the monks.
Lixue Ting–Hall of standing in the snow
Next to Fang-Ting Zhang is the Lixue, "The Hall of standing in the snow", also called the arbor of Dharma. This is a small building with columns and exquisite inlaid gutter and a single, built in the Qing Dynasty, to remember the place where the second saint, Shen-Guang, stood in the snow, Bodhidharma instructed the waiting. The altar of the building is dedicated to a deity in meditation Damo, above which a sign with the four Chinese characters Yin Xue Xin Zhu, written by Emperor Qian Long of the Qing Dynasty-, says: "The most profound piety has left footprints in the snow". Currently, the shrine, in which are kept in a copper bell installed 1589, a drum and a begging bowl, is used by monks for religious services. Outside of the eastern facade of the building, tablets of stone are set important of which is painted in the Jin Dynasty, shows an image of Guanyin and the top, His glorification consists of a Su-Shi, a famous poet of the Song Dynasty, included in the manuscript in February-Ming Lu 1192 and engraved by Shou-Bian. At the bottom of the wall, is one of the best paintings of all time: l'immagine high 60 cm of Guanyin, on two lotus flowers and a japa-mala (rosary), painted by the Shao-Zu 1209. There is also a painting of 1221, which illustrates the second saint-Hui Ke and is engraved with a verse that describes how, to learn the essence of Chan-zong and receive the alms bowl and kayas, Damo proved to his loyalty to Buddhism, still standing in the snow and cutting his left arm.
Pilu Dian-The "Hall of 1000 Buddha”
A northern part Lixue-Ting, Dian is the Pilu, known as the "Hall of the Thousand Buddhas", also called the "Pavilion Pilu", which is the hall of the temple itself, that the sanctuary, built in 1588 during the Ming Dynasty, Noble Order of the Empress Dowager Ci-Sheng, using materials salvaged from other buildings dismantled. The room was repaired twice in 1639 and 1775, maintaining the original architectural style. An inscription of thirteen Chinese characters explained: "This Hall of the Thousand Buddhas, was renewed in mid-autumn of the 40 th year of the reign of Emperor Qian-Long " (1775). In front of the room there is a wide platform, a terrace with a fine stone railing and two flights of stairs, among which is a relief sculpture representing two dragons playing with a pearl. Above the entrance of the central, a sign displaying the words vertically: “Saggi Occidentali”. The three central rooms are separated by wooden partitions, each of which has four doors. The altar in the middle of the room is dedicated to a god of bronze Buddha Pilu, sitting on a lotus throne. Another sign of four Chinese characters: Yin Gao Pha Ti, which means "Be exalted symbol of the Buddha", handwritten by the Emperor Qian Long-, was placed over the divinity. On the western side of the room was a platform, on which stood the white marble deities of Amida Buddha dating from the Zhou Dynasty (1409). The "Shadow Stone" Bodhidharma was kept here. In the room, are preserved 300 square feet of precious wall paintings dating back to the reign of Emperor Kang-Hi Ming (1662-1772).
The main fresco, The "Five hundred arhat pilgrimage to Pilu", illustrates the 500 arhat (Venerable) famous in the history of the development of Hinayana Buddhism, absorbed in contemplating the spiritual form with four arms of the Lord Amitabha (Lokesvara-Buddha o Visnu) while, rises in the sky, before their eyes.
The form of the Lord is here painted with a blue complexion, his head crowned and covered with jewels; wrapped in a yellow silk suit bottom and a white coat; his feet resting on a large pink lotus flower and holds hands the symbols of protection and blessing: a bat, disc, a shell and a lotus flower.
Dian Dizang–The Hall of Ksitigarbha
West of the "Hall of the Thousand Buddhas", dian is the Dizang, the "Hall of Ksitigarbha", considered the "true hearted" for his famous statement: "I will not accept to enter into Nirvana, until hell is empty ". This room was built during the Qing Dynasty, classical architectural style of the period and restored in 1979. Room on the altar of the deities are installed Ksitigarbha of the Bodhisattva and his two servants-Ming Dao and Min-Hua.
The room preserved ancient wall paintings, which unfortunately deteriorated long ago, However, the paintings of the "Ten Principles of Hades", mounted on the walls to the north and south, fresco on the back of the wall, to paint 24 sons of the Confucian tradition, still exist.
Considered Yua–Courtyard of the pagoda
In the central-western part of the Monastery is located on Talin Yuan, the courtyard of the pagoda, built according to historical records no later than the Sui Dynasty and repaired during the period of the Tang and Song. On either side of the courtyard there are still ancient pagodas, constructed from Monaco in Guang-Qing 1088. The pagoda was built on a two-layer, in the northwest corner of the courtyard, is a rare construction of a rectangular, wide 415 cm long 318, which contains two rooms. In the room there is a lower one of the most precious Buddha figures of Shaolin Temple. divinity high stone 173 inches, which is the Maitreya Buddha standing on a lotus flower, carved in the Tang Dynasty. The inclusion of the commemorative plaque, located on the west side of the pagoda, describes how the sculpture to survive '"Abolition of Buddhism", established during the Tang Dynasty. The Pagoda of Maitreya is a square brick structure, high 8 meters and with ten simple style gutters. Above the door of the pagoda, There are six Chinese characters imprinted mean: "Pagoda in memory of the descent of Maitreya".
Guanyin Dian–The "Hall of the white"
East of the "Hall of the Thousand Buddhas", is the "Hall Pai-yi" (“Sala dell’abito bianco”), another portion of which is preserved frescoes 75 square feet, covering sixteen categories of styles of fighting with bare hands and fifteen groups to fight with weapons, that explain the Chinese and Indian monks, darker-skinned train together, the art of kung-fu. These frescoes give weight to the argument that Indians were the monks to teach martial arts, as the Masters are represented as dark-skinned men. There are also paintings that represent the thirteen monks who saved the Emperor of Tang Dynasty. All the frescoes illustrate well the principle Shaolin "Chan-quan-qi-i", meditation and kung-fu were and still are equally important in the Shaolin Temple. Monks painted the frescoes in the temple, before, apprentices were used as a textbook to learn the fatal shots from a meditation session and the other.
On the east wall, west and north of the Hall, is painted a fresco of about 320 square feet, representing "Five hundred arhat who worship Pilu". The fresco is presented in three sections: top, middle and lower, each of which includes a number of vivid and realistic figures. You can see some tame dragons and tigers that arhat, others who talk pleasantly, some with the begging bowl intent to utter a mantra, and others involved with rapt attention to a meeting with the Spiritual Master. Although there are no historical references, Most scholars consider it a work dating from the Ming Dynasty.
Dian Wenshu–The "Sala Manjusri"
In Wenshu Dian, "Sala Manjusri", I installed the statue of the "Great Master of Wisdom", “Wenshu”, the wisest among the Buddhists Bodhisvattva, who exhibited extraordinary talent and a compelling eloquence during the assemblies of Bodhisvattva. In a shrine to the north of the hall, houses the famous "Stone of the Image of Dham in front of the wall", the shadow of the patriarch remained imprinted on the stone during his long meditation.
Considered–The Forest of Pagodas
On the north bank of the stream Shao-xi, Talin is the, the "Forest of Pagodas" China's largest, covering an area of ​​over 21000 square feet. This great architectural complex, composed 243 Lamaist brick pagodas and stone of various types (a plan, eaves with single or multiple;), provides valuable material for studying the history of architecture, art and religion in China. These funerary monuments called stupas, dagoba o samadhi, retain the ashes and relics of 243 abbot of Shaolin Temple. The oldest, built in the Tang Dynasty (791 dC), are: a platform of bricks, that preserves the body of the Buddha symbolically Sakhyamuni (replica of the original samadhi is located at Bodh Gaya in India), and the funerary monument of Master Fa-Wan, Jing'ai Temple in Luoyang. Three other stupas were built during the Song Dynasty, six in the Jin Dynasty, 40 in the Yuan Dynasty, 148 in the Ming Dynasty and Qing Dynasty in the remaining dynasties or other unknown, the last of which was built in 1803. Even recently deceased eminent monks, come Shi-Xing-Zhen (1914-1987), Shi-Su-Xi, Shi-Su-Yun, Shi-Han-Dang, and other, were buried here. The size of these stupas, seven storeys high (14.6 m) up to one meter, generally represent the degree of elevation of the abbot buried. The shape and architectural style of the stupas, changed over the centuries, to take up more stylized features: quadrangular, cylindrical, hexagonal, conical, parabolic, etc.. Each pagoda are carved figures and inscriptions, considered a cultural heritage useful for research on the architecture and the ancient Chinese sculptures in stone and brick. The forest of pagodas developed ,thanks to Chan Buddhism, up to the characteristics and dimensions that we see today.
Chuzu An–The Pavilion Damo
On the hill in front of the Wu-Feng-Ru (Peak of the Five Breasts), confined on three sides by deep ravines, located on a quiet and pleasant Chuzu An, the "Hall of Damo", a small architectural complex built, taking full advantage of topographical advantages, during the Song Dynasty in memory of Damo, who sat there in meditation for almost ten years. The inscription "Charity Unlimited",of 1605, says: "This pavilion marks the place where our holy Buddha meditated in front of the wall."
A 80 age, the Monaco Xing-Xa, died in 1979, pavimentò 170 meters of the path that leads from the Shaolin Temple Pavilion Damo, and 190 meters from the path that leads to the cave Damo Hall. According to ancient Chinese architecture, Damo Hall style belongs to the named: "Padiglione nine rialzi". Inside the pavilion, which has an almost square base, dominated by sixteen carved pillars, is a deity of Damo, consecrated on the altar of carved wood, between the four pillars which are the portraits of the "Heavenly Kings". The "Sala Grande", that according to the inscription on a pillar was built in 1125, covers an area of ​​only 118 square feet, however, attracts the attention of scholars, because it is considered one of the most ancient and precious wood structures in Henan Province. Although renovated several times, the room retains its original architectural principal components. The pillars on either side of the front door, There are carved celestial beings (gandharva e apsara) singing and dancing, China playing the lute (pi-pa), the harpsichord, you sheng (Chinese wind pipe), the xiao (Chinese vertical flute) or holding hands in the twigs of pomegranate in bloom. Currently, the "Pavilion of Damo" also called "Imperial Temple women Yong-Tai,"Is inhabited by the Shaolin Monks, and maintains more than forty inscriptions that include: praise and images of Damo, monastic signs, Sacred Buddhist texts in Sanskrit, sacred images such as Guanyin and Hui-neng planting a cypress. The Temple of Yong-Tai, considered for centuries a major cultural centers of China, and the birthplace of Chan Buddhism and Shaolin kung fu woman, was repeatedly ravaged by fire, and a victim of time and neglect, was almost forgotten. However, recently restored, together with the adjoining school, through the generosity of the Chinese entrepreneur, Temple has now regained its ancient cultural value.
Damo Dong–Damo's Cave
Scaling-Ru-Feng Wu, along the mountain trail north of the "Pavilion of Damo", we see a memorial site, whose construction, decreed by the Emperor Shen Zong-Ming, in the nineties of the sixteenth century, ended in 1604. Behind the portal is the Dong Damo, "Damo's Cave", the cave where Damo meditated for nine years. Opposite the entrance there are three Chinese characters; Mo-Xuan-Chu, meaning: "Where the mediation leads to the wonder", written by hand by Hu-bin, a scholar of the court. On the back-Du Jin-Xi wrote: Dong-Lai-Zhao-Ji, which means: "He came to this mountain east and left on its own merits." Both inscriptions are decorated with two dragons playing with a pearl and other geometric designs. Outside the cave, there are three stone stele, built respectively in 1605 (Ming Dynasty), in 1737 (Qing Dynasty) and 1917. The cave, excavated on the edge of a cliff, is three feet wide and ten deep, and it preserves the stone figures of Bodhidharma and his first disciples: Ke-Hui, the second ancestor; Chan-Seng ancestor and the third-Hsin Tao fourth ancestor. Access to the cave, located a thousand feet, is made possible by a long staircase, that the monks run every morning to pay homage to the patriarchs, and after having bowed out of respect, engage in meditation in this holy place. After practicing martial arts on the mountain ledge three feet wide, grotta.Meditando outside the front of a rock wall for nine years, Bodhidharma left mystically engraved on the rock his image so detailed, you can still see the folds of her dress. The monastic community called Shaolin quest'effige: "The image of Bodhidharma in Meditation" and the cave, "The cave that bears witness to the creative contemplation of Bodhidharma". During the Ming Dynasty, Abate offers a Shaolin, that the notch in meditation of Bodhidharma was extracted from the rock wall in one piece, and transported and the "Memorial Hall of Bodhidharma" in the Monastery, so that he could be worshiped as a sacred relic,
The painting which now adorns the right wall of the cave, indicates the place where it was extracted the "Stone of Shadow". The following poem entitled: "By visiting the cave on the peak of the Five Breasts Damo" was composed by the poet Cao Wen-Heng in glorification of the cave and its Creator: "Who was the one who dug the cave in the Peak of the Five Breasts, Damo, where he could contemplate the supreme peace? It is so high, oh, next to the stars, flowing above the clouds. Although the times may change, the cave with his grades and its merits, never changes. Looking from the cliff, in the center is the Shaolin Temple. "It is said that long ago, Song-shan on the mountain was a cave inhabited by a dragon, Damo and that when you came to meditate, the dragon's fiery chasm from falling backwards. People assumed that the wavy surface of stone in the cave, is due to twisting movements of the dragon, and argues that it still exists west of the cave, a cliff called the Yang-Long-Ya (dragon cliff).
On the mountain, a few steps higher up the cave, in 1997 erettauna large statue of Damo was made of white marble, and from that point of Wu Feng-Ru-visible, on the right in the valley, l’Hotel “Shaolin Wushu”.
Namo Amitabha