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Henan province is considered the cradle of Chinese civilization due to its location along the middle reaches of the Yellow River. This rich historic heritage has endowed Henan with numerous historic treasures. The remains of some of the earliest human settlements have been unearthed here, including the over 7000-year-old Peiligang Culture Remains, the 6000-year-old Yangshao Culture Remains, and the Yin Ruins of the Shang Dynasty. All these cultural remains have profound significance in the history of Chinese civilization. In the history Henan was very important due to its location. Luoyang, Kaifeng and Anyang are famous ancient capital cities of China. Today, Zhengzhou is one important communication hub. It is the crossing of the arteries of Longhai Railway and Jingguang Railway. So it still plays a major role in China. Henan has rich culture and natural resource. The people are very guileless and hospitality. Definitely you will have a good when visit Henan.
In Henan it is very necessary to visit three cities namely Zhengzhou, Luoyang and Kaifeng.
Zhengzhou also enjoys a long history. It is the capital city of Henan Provinve. It covers an area of 7,500 square kilometers with the population of 6.6 million.
Shaolin Temple, at the foot of Song Mountain in Dengfeng City, was first built in 495AD. In 527AD, the eminent monk Dharma arrived at this temple and had nine years of meditation in a cave. He initiated the Zen Buddhism in China. He also taught them monks basic martial arts to improve their health and defend themselves. So the Shaolin Temple is the cradle of the Chinese Zen Buddhism and the Shaolin Martial Arts. Shaolin Temple has many exciting attractions, such as the Hall of Heavenly Kings, the Mahavira Hall, the Pagoda Forest, the Dharma Cave and the Shaolin Temple Martial Art Training Center.
The Pagoda Forest is most important scenic spot in the temple. It is the largest of China's pagoda complexes where buried the eminent monks’ remains in different dynasties.
The Shaolin Temple Kungfu (Martial Arts) Training Center is very popular for martial arts lovers. Shaolin monks have been practicing Kung Fu for over 1,500 years. Now quite a lot of people from all over the world come here to learn and practice Chinese martial arts. The Martial art performance here shows the authentic Chinese Shaolin Kung Fu. For example, Tong Zi Gong, performed by teenagers, is a kind of martial art to train one's flexibility and strength.

Shaolin Temple Scecnic Zone
The Pagoda Forrest

Song Mountain has fine natural scenery. It has 72 mountains, extends for about 70 kilometers from east to west. There are many valleys, caves, pools and waterfalls. The landscape is so unique that it has been given the title of 'International Geological Park' by the UNESCO.
Song Mountain is close to the ancient capital city of Luoyang. The Emperors in ancient always mounted Song Mountain to offer sacrifices. Many scholars, eminent monks and famous Taoists chose this area as an important place to give lectures, explain Buddhist sutras and develop the teachings of different religions. Song Mountain is the birthplace of China Zen Buddhism. It has many temples, such as Shaolin Temple and Songyue Temple.
The Yellow River Scenic Area lies in the northwest of Zhengzhou. It is around 30km from the city.
A number of cultural points are in the park. The western end of the park contains the historic battle site where Liu Bang (who later became Emperor Gauzu) defeated Xiang Yu to cement his rule in 202 B.C. as the first emperor of the Han Dynasty. Yueshan Temple in the park is interesting. It has a large number of pagodas containing the remains past monks at the temple. The park also contains its own Stele Forest where 570 steles inscribed by well known (to the Chinese at least) calligraphers. Five Dragon Peak is an excellent place to view the Yellow River. The huge stone figure of Huangdi with 100meters high is also worth seeing.

Yan Di and Huang Di, Chinese Ancestor Overview Yellow River
Yan Di and Huang Di, Chinese Ancestor
Overview Yellow River

The city of Luoyang is one very important city in ancient China. It served as the capital city of thirteen different Chinese kingdoms. Luoyang is endowed with countless historical and cultural relics. The famous Tang Triple Colors Potteries produced in Luoyang are world famous.
The White Horse Temple, in the suburb of Luoyang City, is the first Buddhist Temple built in China. It was built in 68AD in the Eastern Han Dynasty. According legends, in the year of 64AD of the Eastern Han Dynasty (25-220AD), Emperor Ming sent a delegation to Western Regions to learn Buddhism. After three years, two eminent Indian monks, She Moteng and Zhu Falan, came back with the delegation. They brought a white horse to carry Buddhist sutras and Buddhist figures. This was the first time that Buddhism appeared in China. To express his thanks to the two monks and their white horse, the emperor ordered to build a monastery which he named the White Horse Temple during the following year. The two monks translated “Forty-two Chapter sutras” in the temple. Thus the temple became a centre for Buddhist activity in China. It is for this reason that the temple is honored as the “Cradle of Buddhism in China”. The temple boasts great antique architecture which has remained intact for several hundred years. The Hall of Heavenly Kings, Hall of the Great Buddha, Hall of Mahavira, Hall of Guidance and the Cool and Clear Terrace appear are the main spots in the temple.

White Horse Temple
Longmen Grottoes

The longmen Grottoes are located 12km south of Luoyang City. They are a treasure house of ancient Buddhist cave art. The grottos were hewed and carved during the Northern Wei Dynasty (386-534), when the rulers relocated their capital at Luoyang near the end of the 5th century. At that time Buddhism was wide spreading in China and was venerated by the imperial court. The Buddhists adopted the practice of carving rock temples, dedicated to the Buddha.
The construction of the Longmen Grottoes began in 493 during the reign of Emperor Xiaowen and continued through the successive six dynasties, including Tang and Song, for a span of over 400 years. Altogether there are around 2300 niches and caves. 100,000 statues of the Buddha, Bodhisativa, and Arhat, and 2,800 inscribed stone tablets along the 1-km-long cliff of Mt. Longmen on the west and Mt. Xiangshan on the east of the Yihe River.
30% of these cave sculptures belong to the Northern Wei Dynasty, 60% belong to the Tang Dynasty, and 10% belong to other periods. The style of sculpture, the design of clothing and the facial expression on statues, as well as carving methods of the statues carved in the Northern Wei Dynasty show little foreign influence, rather they exhibit the pinnacle of development of Chinese grotto art. The 11 Buddha statues in the Binyang Cave, typical Northern Wei carvings, represent a style in transition from the simple and compact depictions in the Yungang Grottoes of Datong, Shanxi Province, to the vigorous and realistic Tang Dynasty sculptures.
While the cave sculptures of the Tang Dynasty are of a vigorous, elegant and realistic style, the stone statues in Fengxian Cave, carved under the edict of Empress Wuzetian (reigned 690-705), can be considered as the most typical of the period. These consist of a 17.14-meter-high statue of Vairocana Buddha, and a series of pairs of Bodhisattvas, heavenly kings, protectors and worshippers. The Buddha has a well-filled figure, a sacred and kindly expression and an elegant smile. The huge statue of Vairocana Buddha is today praised as being the quintessence of Buddhist sculpture in China. At the sides of Vairocana there are two statues of Vairocana Buddha's disciples, Kasyapa and Ananda, wearing prudent and devout expressions. The figures of Bodhisattvas and devas can also be found in the temple. Some have dignified and genial expressions, while others are majestic and fiery. The various appearances and delicate designs are the representations of Empire Tang's powerful material and spiritual strength as well as the high crystallization of people's wisdoms.
Wanfo Cave, completed in 680, is a typical cave of the Tang Dynasty with two rooms and square flat roofs. Its name is due to the 15,000 small statues of Buddha carved in the southern and northern walls of the cave. The main Buddha Amida sits on the lotus Sumeru throne, having a composed and solemn face. The wall behind Amida is carved with 54 lotuses upon which there are 54 Bodhisattvas in different shapes and with various expressions.
In addition, there are lifelike reliefs of pretty and charming singers and dancers on the wall. The singers are accompanied by various kinds of instruments and the dancers dance lightly and gracefully to the music. The whole model in the cave has created a lively and cheerful atmosphere. On the southern wall outside the cave is carved a statue of Kwan-yin of 85 centimeters in height, holding a pure bottle in the left hand and deer's tails in the right hand. This figure is well designed and is regarded as an example of Bodhisattva statues of Tang Dynasty in Longmen.
Luoyang is also reputed for its numerous types of peony. In Chinese culture peony symbolizes magnificence, abundance and thriving. Luoyang's peonies rank as the best in the country due to their long growing period and wide varieties. Every April, the famous Peony Exhibition attracts many people from all over the world. During that period of time the whole city permeates the fragrance of peony. Peony is also the national follower in China.
Kaifeng is also one of the ancient capital cities in China. It served as the capital for seven dynasties. Especiall in the Northern Song Dynasty (960-1127AD), it was the cultural and economic center of China. From the famous picture “Qingmingshanghetu” (This picture, painted by Zhang Zeduan, is a painted scroll which is 525 cm in length and 25.5 cm in width depicting life along Bian River during the Qingming Festival. The scenes in this painting are highly detailed and the spectacle is magnificent. There are large numbers of people and buildings. The people are shown in a variety of contemporary clothes that indicate their social standing and occupations. There are many shops along the street corded with all kinds of people. The picture indicated the prosperous scenes of the ancient Kaifeng City.), people can feel the prosperity of ancient Kaifeng.
The Iron Pagoda is erected strikingly in the northeast of Kaifeng City. It is renowned as the best pagoda in China for its superb construction and elegance. Built in 1094 in the Song Dynasty (960-1279), the pagoda is the most eye-catching element of Kaifeng.
The pagoda is not made of iron but glazed bricks. Seen from a distance the pagoda appears to be made of iron due to the color of the bricks.
The thirteen-layered, octagonal pagoda is over 55 meters high. The unique construction used bricks but followed a design of wooden pagodas. Tenons, mortises and slots were all made of bricks and they were well connected into a complete unity. The Irion Pagoda has experienced the baptizing of nature, earthquakes, flood and destructions of human being for over 900 years but it still towers there. That is really a architectural wonder.
The glazed-bricks on the surface layer are exquisitely engraved. More than 50 distinct patterns are used, such as figures of Buddha and Bodhisattva, different flowers, and lions and kylins. Each pattern is of a high artistic standard show the excellent craftsmanship. The steps of the brick stair spiral to the top from where you can enjoy a view of the whole city.
The Iron Pagoda was placed on the list of major historic and cultural sites under state protection in 1961.

Iron Tower Bodhisattva with thousand hands
Iron Tower
Bodhisattva Statuein Xiangguo Temple

Xiangguo Temple was first constructed in 555 in the Northern and Southern Dynasties (420-589). It is one of the ten famous temples in Chinese history and plays an important role in the development of Buddhism in China.
The temple was rebuilt in the Tang Dynasty (618-907), and was bestowed the name Xiangguo Temple by Emperor Ruizong. The temple reached its heyday in the Song Dynasty (960-1279). It became an international Buddhism center, attracting many foreign envoys and great monks. That is because Kaifeng was the capital city of the Northern Song Dynasty. It contributed a lot to the cultural exchanges between China and other countries. Most buildings existing today were built in the Qing Dynasty.
The most remarkable building in the temple is the Arhat Hall, which is also called Octagonal Glazed Hall. Inside, placed a wooden statue of Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva, which was carved from the trunk of a huge gingko tree during the reign of Emperor Qianlong in the Qing Dynasty. The four sides of the statue are of the same sculpt. On each side, there are six big hands and three to four layers of small fanlike hands, with an eye on each palm. The number of the hands totals 1,048, and likewise the number of the eyes. The statue highly embodies the fine workmanship of the Qing Dynasty.
Kaifeng is famous for its chrysanthemum floriculture. Every autumn many kinds of chrysanthemum in different colors and different forms are in blossom. That is really amazing. Chrysanthemum represents purified characters of people. It was specially favored by scholars in China.

The Three Gorges on Yangtze River
Suzhou
Hangzhou
Guilin
Silk Road
Tibet
Yunnan (Kunming, Xishuangbanna ,Dali,Lijiang, Shangri-La)
Famous Mountains
?? State Natural Reserves
Henan

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 


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