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Southern Shaolin Temple

The Southern Shaolin Temple, about 16 kilometers northwest from Putian City, was built in A.D. 557 the Southern Dynasties, 60 years after Songshan Shaolin Temple in Henan. Before that it had a old name Linquan Complex. As a big temple, the Linquan Temple had more than 20 buildings with more than 500 monks warriors living there according to the stone inscription.

Why did the monk warriors come to Linquan Complex in Putian from Songshan Shaolin Temple? The most popular answer was that the emperor required a military assistance from Songshan Shaolin Temple.

Later Li Shimin, the fisrt emperor of the Tang Dynasty, ascended the throng, the remaider of his enemy went on doing evil like pirates in Fujian. For the stability and prosperity in Southern China, the emperor could not send a army and needed special military operations of monk warriors. He resorted to the master of Songshan Shaolin Temple. Approximately 500 warrior monks, led by a legendary Shaolin cudgel fighting monk Dao Guang, were sent to Fujian to fight against the pirates in the early 7th Century.

The monk warriors used their special talents, eventually helped the local Tang soldiers to surpress the riot successfully, but quite a mumber of them died in the battle. When they were about to return to Songshan Shaolin Temple, the local people asked them for continuous protection. For the bury of the dead monks and the people's wish, Dao Guang and his warrior monks got the master's permission from Songshan Shaolin Temple and settled down in Linquan Complex in Putian. Simliar to Shaolin Temple, Linquan Complex was buit to be a southern branch, and then it was called Southern Shaolin Temple. By the Song Dynasty, the Southern Shaolin Temple became a center for the spread of Chan Buddhist philosophy and martial arts.

The Southern Shaolin temple was burned down once during the regime of Kangxi Emperor in the Qing Dynasty. The temple was a base for the movement of Ming restoration against the Manchu rulers at that time. Now the Southern Shaolin Temple you see was rebuit later.

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