Shaolin Temple is located in the region of Song Mountain, Dengfeng city, China's Henan Province. It was founded in 496 AD during the Northern Wei Dynasty to honor an Indian monk named Bodhidharma. As one of the oldest temples in China, it has enjoyed a reputation of "The First Temple of China".
As one of China's most famous ancient temples, Shaolin Temple is famous for Chinese Kung Fu or Martial Arts and the Zen Buddhism wide-spread in East Asia. Shaolin Temple once had many monks on its premises. Those monks of the lower level mostly came from the secular society and some of them knew some martial arts before entering the temple. Those who knew martial arts taught and helped each other to improve their skills. They also absorbed the experience of their predecessors and gradually developed their martial arts into the unique Shaolin School.
The Shaolin Temple is famous for the coexistence of Chan School and martial art. It became famous in the Sui and Tang dynasties, in early Song Dynasty, the 13-Rod Monk was conferred title of nobility on saving the life of King of Qin. Soon the Shaolin martial art developed into its own system and became famous as the unique Shaolin School among Chinese martial circles.
During the Yuan and Ming dynasties, the Shaolin Temple housed some 1,000 monks and became a large Buddhist temple known at home and abroad. Today it has become an attractive tourist destination in China.