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The Shaolin Temple

Timelines and articles about the Shaolin Temple's 1500-year-long history, from its foundation by an Indian mystic to the present day.

Origins and Early History of the Shaolin Monastery
History of the Shaolin Temple from its foundation by an Indian (?) teacher through its destruction in 622 A.D.

Timeline of the Shaolin Temple's History in the Tang Era
Although the fighting monks of Shaolin Temple helped to establish the Tang Dynasty's rule over China, they did not entirely escape the anti-Buddhist purges that swept the country several times during the Tang Era.

Shaolin Temple in the Tang through Ming Eras
Throughout this era, the warrior-monks of Shaolin Temple were busy fighting both defensive and offensive battles. As the fame of Shaolin martial arts spread across China, many military and lay students came to the monks to learn kung fu.

Shaolin Temple During the Late Ming and Early Qing Eras
The transition period between the ethnically Han Chinese Ming Dynasty and the ethnically Manchu Qing Dynasty was chaotic and violent, and the Shaolin Temple's fighting monks found themselves on the wrong side in this war.

Shaolin Temple During the Qing Era
During the reign of China's last imperial dynasty, the Qing, Shaolin Temple underwent massive changes in its martial arts style, its political position and its reputation throughout China.

Shaolin Temple in the 20th Century
The twentieth century saw cataclysmic changes in Chinese government and society. From the Boxer Rebellion and the fall of the last emperor, to the rise of communism and the growth of China's tourism and movie industries, these changes had a massive impact on the Shaolin Temple.

History of the Shaolin Monks
The monks of China's Shaolin Monastery are known for their fighting prowess, particularly in their own Shaolin style of kung fu. Learn more about this ancient monastery and its inhabitants.

China's Shaolin Temple
At several points in the long recorded history of China, Buddhism has fallen out of favor with the ruling classes, and temples have been shut down or even burned to the ground. One temple that has survived relatively well is the Shaolin Monastery in Henan Province - in part because the warrior monks of Shaolin have used their kung fu ( gong fu...

The Fighting Monks of Shaolin Temple vs. Japanese Pirates
Throughout the 1400s and 1500s, Japanese pirate bands raided up and down the Chinese coastline. The imperial army and navy were unable to stop the pirates, so they called in the fighting monks of Shaolin and other temples.

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