Shaolin Temple is probably the most famous temple in China, not only because of its long history and its role in Chinese Buddhism, but also because of its martial arts or Wushu Chan. Shaolin Temple is situated in the beautiful Songshan Mountains, which is only eight miles of Dengfeng and about 50 miles southwest of Zhengzhou, the capital of Henan Province.
Shaolin Temple was established in 495 during the Northern Wei Dynasty (386-534). Batuo, an Indian monk, came to Luoyang, the ancient capital, for spreading Buddhism at that period. Emperor Xiaowen was a believer of Buddhism so he decided to build the temple in the Songshan Mountains to house Batuo, who translated many Buddhist works and had a few hundred followers there.
Shaolin Temple covers an area of more than 30,000 square meters, so its scale is great. On its medial axis stand the Gate of the Temple, Heavenly King Hall, Main Hall, Sutra Hall, Abbot's Room, Thousand Buddhas Hall, etc., and a number of important buildings stand on both sides hereof. Shaolin Temple on the tablet of the Gate were written by Emperor Kangxi of the Qing Dynasty.