29 June, 2007

No.10: Henan - Shaolin Temple

Shaolin Temple
(1st-4th October, 2004)



After July-August summer holidays, another major holiday in China is from 1st-10th October. 1st October is the anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949 and Double Tenth National Day celebrated every year on 10th October to commemorate the 1911 Wuch'ng Uprising, a milestone in China's political development and new chapter in the history of the Chinese people. October holiday is also a good occasion for many people to take a short excursion.

After a wonderful time in Inner Mongolia for my summer holidays and a month of work, it was time again to plan on how or what I would do during the October holidays. By this time, I've befriended G, a teacher from my University who was also open to travel. Though we knew October holiday was gonna be way crowded in all the tourist places in China, we felt we needed to take a break away from the confinement of our campus. So together we decided to go to the famous Shaolin Temple. whah-huh-hah!!

I got to know about the Shaolin Temple from martial arts movies I've seen which happens to be my favourite action movies. Jackie Chan, Jet Li, Bruce Lee...I love watching their lithe moves :) I've set my priority of not missing the chance to visit this place once I set foot in China. It's a 'must visit' place on my list. The fact that it was started by a Buddhist monk from India named Buddhabhadra, or Ba Tuo in Chinese, made it more special for me.

Back-gate
We went to Luoyang in Henan Province (1st-4th October, 2004) with three other friends by train which takes 7 hours from Xi'an. We arrived at Luoyang in the afternoon. Since we didn't book a hotel before going, we had a tough time finding one that could take us in. As a law, China permits only certain hotels to host foreigners. We finally came to a Youth Hostel after endless hours of searching for a hotel....Phew! The five of us shared a dormitory......but that'll do. The more the merrier :)

We went for a walk after supper. That was the first time I came to know about the 'Pink lighted hair salons'....ummmm....a variant to the red-light zone. During our stay, we also came across shops that sells things I've never seen before. I just couldn't figure it out until I was told the ultimate truth....it turns out to be sex-toy shops! It was rather shocking for me to see it so publicly displayed. I reckon that's the reason I just couldn't figure it out in the first place. But I haven't seen the like again in any other cities I've been to in China.


We also booked a KTV (Karaoke)room and sang our voices out. Funny though, the only English songs they had were so old that I've never heard them before. And the ones I knew were by Backstreet Boys, which most of us still couldn't sing along with!! Well...you see, we were...one chinese, three Indians and one Aussie.....imagine the rest....When our chinese friend sang Chinese songs, we couldn't join in, and when we sang English songs, she couldn't follow us either.....lolz! What a night ...but we still had a lot of fun together.

The next day was the 'big day'. The day I had been waiting for with anticipation for quite sometime. The day I thought would never happen or would have the opportunity to make it come true...not even in my wildest dreams. The thought that we could as well be the very first few Mizo's to have visited the Shaolin Temple makes it almost...humbling. First and foremost...we 'had' to go to the Shaolin Temple before visiting any other places.



We took a van and was about an hours ride from Luoyang. On reaching the Shaolin Temple main gate, there were hoards of tourists....But that's not gonna deter me. We purchased our ticket which costs us 40 RMB.


The Shaolin Temple can be described as comprising of three major places. The first comprising of Kung Fu performance hall, about 10 minutes walk from the main gate. However, we got to see the performance at the end of our tour as we thought it better to see the rest of the place first. Their concentration and skill is palpable and was just incredible watching them perform live, right infront of us.

Area two comprises of the Shaolin Temple. We had to walk 20 minutes from the Kung Fu performance hall. Entering from the bottom, we had to make our way up through multiple halls to reach the top. We took sometime to enter as we clicked away photos as though we were afraid it would all vanish :)


Inside, there was the training hall aka Hall of a thousand Buddhas where the floor was badly battered due to many years of training by the monks. If you have seen Jet Li's movie "The Shaolin Temple", you'll get the idea how it'd look like. In fact, I recently watched the movie for the first time and it's fun as I've been there and could picturise the place in which the movie was shot. I could make out the many changes it's gone through the years. I'm told it's Jet Li's first movie! Hmmm....



There were also multiple stone tablets erected in memory of the great Buddhist monk leaders. What I realised after sometime was that I don't recollect coming across any 'real' monks. I understand the Shaolin Temple is highly commercialised now. With thousands of visitors thronging the place every year, the Temple is flourishing. We saw many martial art schools in the nearby vicinity where thousands of Chinese children were practising.








The third area is the Pagoda Forest, about half a kilometer west of the Shaolin Temple. There are more than 250 stone and brick pagodas from various dynasties. These pagodas are tombs for eminent monks, abbots and ranking monks at the temple. We took the whole day wandering around the complex. It takes quite a while and taking photos without people in it was next to impossible with so many people around us. And majority of the visitors were Chinese.


I bought a set of miniature art work posing in different kung fu styles, a T-shirt imprinted with different kung fu pose before actual combat and a huge painting which now grace the wall of my home back in India. The Shaolin Temple is fully worth visiting.


A minute of Shaolin Kung Fu lesson *_*

16 comments:

  1. Ngaihnawm veee..Ka kal hma a min lo kal khalh vel chu leee,LAL-BUSY-lian leh,di de mai.. :))

    I post chhiar zawh chuan kal ve kher poh ngaih dawn lo hi..ziak tha khups mai..:-)

    "gongfu lesson" a nula zawk hi ka van duh ee..

    Btw,"sex-toy" dawr chu kan veng ah poh hian a tam mai..mak tak ani,hetia ualau tak a an zuar mai hi chu..a dawr hian hming bik anei a,nuih zat thlak reuh lutuks..:P

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  2. tak in maw..leh loks..tunlai phei chu ShaoLin GongFu master ka ang reuh lutuk..ka sam ka ziat kawlh a..:PP

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  3. Inla Chinese vel suh auh Lal Seki...ka sam ka ziat e te itia...ka back kick mai tur che ania...Shaolin ah minute 2 ka zir ka tih kha...Gongfu nilovin Kungfu ti ve mai bok la..Lal de du

    In khaw dor neitute chuan an hre toh ngot ce in ka ring...kar tin toy kha thlak ziah sia nga....hohoho!

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  4. Hehe i pui ru reuh riau mai a,i kut ke tih vel dan a dik tlat,i chi mo riau mai haha,kan lo kal leh hunah in kungfu ang o ka la cho tho che taiji ka zir ve tho a.kal ve a chakom khop mai,ziakthiam thin bok si.

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  5. Muh dear Remi...ang ve viau ani tiro..

    Taichi i zir bok a, in lokal leh hun chu 'slow-motion' in kanin sual don nia....akekekekee

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  6. Thanks for the info. Shaolin Temple tlaw thei Mizo an tam lo a nia, I van nei hle mai. Keipaw Great Wall Of China leh Shaolin Temple visit ve thei ka chak ngawt mai...

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  7. keini chinese ho chuan 'Kungfu " kan hre ve tlats lo ah..akekek
    Gongfu [ 功夫 ]kan tia..hheheh

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  8. @D4W50N: Ni e tiro, keipoh vannei ka inti khop mai :)

    @John: Ih momz, i duh leh 'tofu' te ti vel la..hehheeh

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  9. Waich! engtik lai in nge i sam i cut a? Ka hai trep che alawm! :) Sam tawi khan i harh leh hmel zual! :))

    Nice pics, Jinxie. Shaolin pose lai khi ka blog ah ka chhuah lar dawn oooo? :)

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  10. @Illusionaire: Ka sam chu atoi reng thin zok a.Mahse China ah hian duh angin cut tir theih miah loh anih chu!!Ka duh ang ka hrilhin tar ho cut ang alom an tia, an duh angin min chhuah sak zel a,sam zuahah ka tlak phah ta anih hi..lolz

    I duh phot chuan lo chhuah chuai chuai teh. A duh tan Shaolin pose a free in ka zirtir thei reng e...hheheee

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  11. Shaolin pose aimah kha chuan, wolf mask hlau der pose kha nalh ka ti zawk :) kha kha ka post zawk dawn! :-))))

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  12. A reng rengin, rawngbawl ho lam bloggers ho in van reh em emmm tunlai hi???

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  13. @Illusionaire: oizz, thlalak kha mo? Thring om eee...hahhah

    Tunlai China Mizo hovin blog kan update loh na chhan chu momz, summer holiday lai ania kan zin luai luai mai anih hi. August thla tawp emaw September thla tir atang chuan kan ron khawih che leh hlawmin ka ring.

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  14. Kungfu hi a thar kan hmuchhuak ve a, "Taikunte" tih a ni. A hmuchhuak tu hi kan thianpa Taia a nia a hming chawi a kan phuah a ni lem chuanglo! A har vaklo zan rei tawk men hi black belt kan pe a :-) Meng hlei theilo te hi chu yellow belt te kan pe thung. A zirna kan pechhuak nghal "Do it yourself:self help book" a ni mai :-)

    Ekhai! I blog chuan kungfu a thiam bawk a kan comment na deuh poh a lo block/blog zaih2 mai a lom le. Ngaihnawm hlei mai, mahse Chinese history kan zirlai minti hrechhuak a, an hming ka hre thei lo ltk lai kha....buaithlaks :-)

    Very nice blog :-)

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  15. RaChuti chu rawn let vat vat ru :)

    Please visit:

    Mizo Bloggers Directory

    and register there. You can enter what you like about yourself :) I am planning to make a Directory of all the Mizo bloggers.

    Thanx.

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  16. @Sawmpuia: Ilo lut hlol a..Nuam chiang e.Men reiah chuan black belt ka hmu ve sim sim..hehe

    Hei i blog kalo add che ania o. Ka zin ka haw leh ta bawk a,chil intih put siak leh toh ang om.

    @Kima: Kan ho hlawm toh e. Ka in register toh kha om.

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