Pagoda Forest

Located 250 meters west of the Shaolin Temple, Dengfeng County, Henan Province, and Pagoda Forest is a tomb collection of monks through many years, which covers an area of more than 21,000 square meters. There are about 230 pagodas built by bricks and stones since Tang Dynasty dating from 791 to 1803, earning it the honor of being the largest pagoda forest in China.


These pagodas were built to commemorate the eminence and contributions of prestigious and respectable Buddhists. After their death and cremation, the ashes would be put underground and a pagoda would be erected on the spot. The size, height and story of the pagoda indicate its accomplishments, prestige, merits and virtues. Each pagoda was carved with the exact date of construction and brief inscriptions, and has its own style with various shapes such as polygonal, cylindrical, vase, conical and monolithic. What’s more, there are some pagodas built for some eminent foreign monks. One of them is in the east of the pagoda forest built in 1339 in Yuan Dynasty, carrying an epitaph written by a Japanese monk at the Shaolin Temple with beautiful language and handwriting. In the west part, there is also a pagoda built for an Indian monk in 1564 during Ming Dynasty. Thanks to its concentration of ancient architecture, calligraphy, and sculpture, Pagoda Forest is a good place to study the culture and art in ancient China.

Source: chinatouronline.com

Editor: Chen Yanqiu, Wang Moyan



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