Posts Tagged ‘Dengfeng’

Journeys in Time six-part Series: Songshan

Monday, February 6th, 2012

Songshan is considered to be the central sacred mountain of China. At the foot of this 1500 metre high mountain, close to the city of Dengfeng in Henan province and spread over a 40 square-kilometre circle, stand eight clusters of buildings and sites. These buildings are reflections of different ways of perceiving the centre of heaven and earth and the power of the mountain as a centre for religious devotion. Find out more about this amazing World Heritage listed location by watching the online videos of the CNTV Journeys in Time six-part Series: Mount Songshan.

I enjoyed a visit to the Songshan Shaolin Temple and its ancient pagoda forest as part of my travels through Anhui, Henan and Zhejiang provinces in 2009 (see story and pictures).

Movie – Shaolin

Monday, January 31st, 2011

Last night we went to the cinema to see the new movie “Shaolin”. Much more than just a Kung Fu film, the fast-paced, breathtaking Shaolin is an experience in the benevolence, wisdom and enlightenment of Chinese Buddhism. I visited the Shaolin Temple, which is located at Dengfeng near Zhengzhou in Henan Province, during my Shaolintrip to Henan, Anhui, and Zhejiang in 2009. Rather than risk damage to the real Shaolin Temple, which last year gained World Heritage listing, a replica film set was built in Zhejiang Province.

Shaolin begins with feuding warlords trying to expand their power by warring over neighboring lands. Fuelled by his success on the battlefield, young and arrogant warlord Hao Jie sneers at Shaolin’s masters when he beats one of them in a duel. But pride comes before a fall. When his own family is wiped out by a rival warlord, Hao is forced to take refuge with the monks. There he confronts the harm he has done, learning Shaolin martial arts and repenting. As the civil unrest spreads and the people suffer, Hao and the Shaolin masters are forced to take a stand against the evil warlords and foreign colonists who are exploiting the Chinese people to plunder ancient treasures (something that has sadly happened in real life, one of the worst examples being the French and English looting and destruction of Yuanmingyuan).

Find out more at Emperor Motion Pictures – Shaolin.

Dengfeng historic monuments and Danxia landform added to World Heritage list

Monday, August 2nd, 2010

Shaolin Temple SongshanUNESCO’s World Heritage Committee has decided at its 34th meeting in Brazil to add the historic monuments of Dengfeng and the Danxia landform to the World Heritage list.  To find out more visit the CCTV9 Special Feature.

The historic monuments of Dengfeng are situated in and around Songshan (Mount Song) in Henan Province in central China. Songshan, known in Chinese as Zhongyue, is one of the five sacred mountains in China. The monuments consist of 13 ancient structures and sites including the Shaolin Temple and Pagoda Forest that we visited during our 2009 trip to Henan, Anhui and Zhejiang Provinces – read the story and see the pictures.

The Danxia landform consists of red sedimentary rock located across six Chinese provinces. It is characterised by spectacular cliffs and a range of erosional landforms, including dramatic natural pillars, towers, ravines, valleys and waterfalls. These rugged landscapes have helped to conserve sub-tropical broad-leaved evergreen forests, and host many species of flora and fauna, about 400 of which are considered rare or threatened. For some pictures see this slideshow on the Sina website (click on the photos to advance the slideshow).

For a full list of World Heritage properties in China visit the UNESCO World Heritage website. West Lake in Hangzhou city, which we also visited on our 2009 trip, is planned for nomination for World Heritage listing next year.