Best Places to Visit in Henan

Henan, in Chinese means "south of the Yellow River", is the cradle of Chinese civilization and the Chinese nation. TopChinaTravel would like to introduce some of the Best Places to visit in Henan, to help you find your way to explore the unspoiled beauty of this charming and mysterious area. Where to visit in Henan? Travel with us, just let us to be your guide and accompany with you to discover the charms between ancient temples and stone carving art.

Shaolin Temple (Dengfeng)
Shaolin Temple is famous for Chinese Kung Fu or Martial Arts and the Zen Buddhism wide-spread in East Asia. It is one of China's most famous ancient temples. It once had many monks on its premises. Those monks of the lower level mostly came from the secular society and some of them knew some martial arts before entering the temple. Those who knew martial arts taught and helped each other to improve their skills. They also absorbed the experience of their predecessors and gradually developed their martial arts into the unique Shaolin School.

Pagoda Forest is the graveyard of the Shaolin Temple. Housing the tombs of eminent monks from different historical periods, it is the largest pagoda forest in China. The levels, or stories, on the pagodas must be odd numbers (from 1 to 7) and are based on the achievements of the Buddhist masters they were built for. The era the pagodas were built in affects the shape (round or square) and the number of sides (4 or 6).

Mt. Songshan (Dengfeng)
As the highest mountain of the five famous mountains in China, the essence of Mt. Songshan is the Shaolin Temple which is situated in it. While besides Shaolin Temple, Mt. Songshan itself also gets many valuable things to travel.

Mt. Songshan also boasts a large number of showplaces and cultural relics. The most famous Shaolin Temple is located here, where Shaolin monks exercise Qigong and other Shaolin Kong-fu (martial arts). There are some other temples in the mountain, such as the Zhongyue Temple, which is nicknamed "the Little Palace"; the Fawang Temple and the Huishan Temple, the oldest temples extant in China; two earliest and well-preserved astronomical observatories extant in China; etc.


Longmen Grottoes (Luoyang)
The grottoes, which overwhelmingly depict Buddhist subjects, are densely dotted along the two mountains: Xiangshan (to the east) and Longmenshan (to the west). The Yi River flows northward between them. From north to south, the distance covered by grottoes is about 1km.

There are over 2100 niches, more than 100,000 statues, some 40 pagodas and 3600 tablets and steles in the caves of Guyang, Binyang and Lianhua. Along with the Mogao Caves and Yungang Grottoes, the Longmen Grottoes are one of the three most famous ancient sculptural sites in China.

There are two types of the cave sculptures that one third of them are in Northern Wei Dynasty style while two thirds of them are in Tang Dynasty style. Although this cave was built in the ancient time, the influence of the foreign culture can be found in the grotto art. This exotic culture helped the development of this traditional Chinese art.


White Horse Temple (Luoyang)
White Horse Temple is nested between the Luo River and Mang Hill. With its distinctive red walls, exquisite palaces and towering pagoda, the temple sits gently amid green pines and cypress groves, adding a solemn and silent quality to the complex. It is honored as ‘the Cradle of Buddhism in China’.

White Horse Temple is a historic sit with possesses more than 1,900 years with a well-preserved appearance. This great antique architecture can be divided into some parts namely the Hall of Heavenly Kings, Hall of the Great Buddha, Hall of Mahavira, Hall of Guidance and the Cool and Clear Terrace appear in proper order in the temple, as they were when it was first built.


Yellow River Scenic Area (Zhengzhou)
This area is covered by green trees dotted by pavilions and towers. A north view by standing on a high place shows the Yellow River keeps ruuning forward. The park is composed of four parts: Wanglongfeng Scenic Spot, Yueshan Temple Scenic Spot, Luotuo (Camel) Bridge and Hanba Erwangcheng Scenic Spot.

At the foot of the hill is a statue of a mother and son that is meant to represent the great mutual affection that the river and the people of China hold. The Yueshan temple is probably the best of the sights here, within which there is a statue of the "Great Yu", the legendary king of ancient China. Most prominent of the statues has to be the 100m tall statue of the emperor's Yan and Huang, who were both believed to be of Henan origin.

Xiangguo Monastery (kaifeng)
Xiangguo Monastery is one of the ten famous monasteries and temples in China. It has a history of over 1,400 years. In the Northern Song Dynasty, the monastery was enlarged many times and became the largest monastery and the national Buddhist center at that time.

At present, the existing structures of the monastery are the Grand Hall, the Octagonal Hall, the east and west chambers, and other buildings holding Buddhist sutras. Inside the Octagonal Hall there is a wooden statue of the Goddess of Mercy with many hands and eyes which was carved during the reign of Emperor Qian Long (1736 -1795) of the Qing Dynasty and which is regarded as a masterpiece of wood carving from that era.