Dengfeng Travel Guide
Dengfeng has a long history, and it is known for the old and large religious sites, temple buildings and martial arts academies. The area of Songshan Mountain has some of China's biggest and most important temples and schools for Buddhism, Confucianism, and Taoism. It is one of China's centers for martial arts and was where the Shaolin style of martial arts originated. The city was known as Yangcheng at one time. It was said to be the capital of the earliest dynasty in the area of China, the Xia Dynasty, though historians are not sure about whether their rule was truly dynastic. The city has been important as one of China's main centers for the development of Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism, and martial arts.
The area has a number of large ancient sites. It has some of the the country's major schools and training centers for Buddhism, Confucianism and Taoism. There is the Shaolin Temple where the founder of Zen used to live. The Indian monk Batuo founded the Shaolin temple in 495 AD. Then, several decades later in 527, another Indian monk named Damo (or Bodhidharma) moved to the temple to teach the Chan sect of Buddhism best known as Zen Buddhism. Zen is the way the Chinese ideogram for Chan is pronounced in Japanese. Zen was China's most popular kind of Buddhism. Zhongyue Temple is the biggest Taoist Temple among the temples of the Wu Yue (China's five sacred mountains). Songyang Academy was one of the four great Confucian academies in ancient China. The other three academies were Yuelu Academy, Bailu Dong Academy, and Yingtian Academy.
The area is the center of the development of Zen Culture and Shaolin Martial Arts. Now, there are about 62 martial arts schools in Dengfeng including Shaolin Tagou Martial Arts School, Epo Martial Arts School, Xiaolong Martial Arts School and so on. Over 50 thousand students both foreign and Chinese are studying martial arts in these schools. The city is sometimes called the "Hometown of Martial Arts."
The long history has left Dengfeng with lots of precious historical and cultural heritage sites. It has about 1127 cultural relics and historic spots, including 16 key national heritage conservation areas. As one of China's five holy mountains, tourists can visit and learn about martial arts, visit the Chinese artistic sites, learn about Chinese culture, learn about Chinese astronomy and science, and see the scenery. You can also appreciate the mountainous landscape and hike, see the countryside, learn about geology, learn about the development of Chinese architecture and visit the museums and archaeological sites, some thousands of years old. Other important sites include the Songyue Temple, the Gaocheng Observatory and Huishan Temple.
Dengfeng City is in the middle of Henan Province. It is at the southern foot of Songshan Mountain that is one of China's five sacred mountains. Dengfeng is 62 kilometers from Zhengzhou that is the capital city of Henan Province. Driving from Zhengzhou to Dengfeng takes about 90 minutes.
Dengfeng City enjoys temperate continental climate, with four distinct seasons. The annual average temperature reaches 14 °C, the coldest month being January with the average monthly temperature of -2 ~ 2 °C and the hottest July with an average temperature of 27.5 °C. The annual rainfall is about 636 mm. The best season to travel here is spring and autumn, that is, February, March, April, August, September and October.
Shaolin Temple is built in Songshan Mountain, at the foot of which the annual average temperature arrives at 14.3 °C, and on the top of which the average temperature is about 8.5 °C and the annual precipitation reaches 864 mm.