Wonmyeongsa Temple – 원명사 (Gimhae, Gyeongsangnam-do)

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A view of the peaceful Wonmyeongsa Temple grounds.

Hello Again Everyone!!

Wonmyeongsa Temple is located up a side street that winds its way through older looking houses in Gimhae, Gyeongsangnam-do. It eventually connects to a forested road that leads past a set of stupas. Past these stupas, and slightly up an embankment, is Wonmyeongsa Temple.

The first thing to greet you at the temple is a beautiful new bell pavilion. This bell pavilion, uniquely, is situated a fair distance from the temple’s courtyard. Housed inside of this bell pavilion are newly crafted percussion instruments. Both the Brahman Bell and the Cloud Gong still have the fresh bronze look to them. And the colourful Fish Gong is second-to-none in both its design and bright colours.

A bit further up the embankment is the uninviting front facade to the temple. You’ll have to pass by a family of guard dogs that are unchained. Interestingly, the visitors’ centre and kitchen are the face to this temple. Up a set of cement stairs, you’ll first enter the grassy temple courtyard. On the far right side of the temple courtyard are the monks’ dorms.

Straight ahead is the larger sized main hall at Wonmyeongsa Temple. Out in front of the main hall, and an overriding theme at this temple, is an eloquently designed statue of Jijang-bosal (The Bodhisattva of the Afterlife). Surrounding the exterior walls of this main hall is the set of Shimu-do murals. While simple in design, the Ox-Herding murals are masterfully painted.

As for the interior of the main hall, and sitting on the main altar, is a triad centred by Seokgamoni-bul (The Historical Buddha). He’s flanked by Munsu-bosal (The Bodhisattva of Wisdom) and Bohyun-bosal (The Bodhisattva of Power). This main altar is flanked by another triad to the left. In the centre of this triad is a seated Yaksayore-bul (The Medicine Buddha). He’s flanked by Ilgwang-bosal (The Bodhisattva of the Sun) and Wolgwang (The Bodhisattva of the Moon) on either side. And yet another triad sits to the right of the main altar. In the centre of this triad is Amita-bul (The Buddha of the Western Paradise). To the left is Daesaeji-bosal (The Bodhisattva of Wisdom and Power for Amita-bul) and Gwanseeum-bosal (The Bodhisattva of Compassion). All of these triads are surrounded by towering red canopies. Also, the base of the altar is comprised of the Palsang-do motif. On the far right wall is the temple’s guardian painting that has several dozen Bodhisattvas and shaman deities. And on the far left wall is a green-haired statue of Jijang-bosal and a large sized mural of the Bodhisattva, as well. Flanking both of these murals, the one of Jijang-bosal and the guardian painting, are dozens of tiny Buddha and Bodhisattva statues.

The other building that you can visit at the temple is the newly constructed Jijang-jeon dedicated to Jijang-bosal. While this hall is still unpainted, the interior has a set of seven Jijang-bosal statues centred by a larger sized seated Jijang-bosal statue. And to the left of this hall is a stoically standing granite statue of Jijang-bosal. In his right hand rests a golden staff and in his left rests a cupped pearl.

HOW TO GET THERE: Using the Busan subway system, you’ll need to get off at Gupo Subway Station (line 3). From there, exit the subway station and find the Gupo bus stop. Take Bus #125 for 16 stops, or 22 minutes, and get off at the Chojeong bus stop. From there, walk about 850 metres, or 12 minutes, to Wonmyeongsa Temple. Along the way, you’ll see a brown sign with the temple name on it leading you towards the temple.

OVERALL RATING: 6/10. There are definitely a couple of highlights to this temple that houses so much Jijang-bosal iconography. One is all the artwork and statues that sit upon the altar inside the main hall. Another is the base of the altar itself with the colourful depictions of the Palsang-do motif. And finally, the large granite statue of Jijang-bosal, and the neighbouring bronze statue of this Bodhisattva, which round out the highlights to this peaceful temple.

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The uniquely located bell pavilion at Wonmyeongsa Temple.

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The colourful fish gong inside the bell pavilion.

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The rather uninviting yellow front facade at Wonmyeongsa Temple.

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The large main hall at the temple.

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A look inside the main hall at the main altar. Seokgamoni-bul is joined by Munsu-bosal and Bohyun-bosal.

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To the left of the main altar is this shrine dedicated to Amita-bul in the centre. He’s joined by Gwanseeum-bosal and Daesaeji-bosal.

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And to the right sits Yaksayore-bul in the centre of his own shrine.

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Some of the intricate main altar wood work. This panel depicts Maya, Buddha’s mother, having a dream of her son’s impending birth.

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From birth to death, this is the final panel in the collection of Palsang-do etchings.

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The large guardian mural inside the main hall at Wonmyeongsa Temple.

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A uniquely designed Nathwi adorning one of the exterior doors to the main hall.

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One of the simplistic Shimu-do, Ox-Herding, murals.

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To the left of the main hall is the Jijang-jeon.

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A look at the main altar inside the Jijang-jeon at Jijang-bosal (The Bodhisattva of the Afterlife).

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The view across the Jijang-jeon at the main hall.

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And a beautiful look up at the unpainted Jijang-jeon.

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And last, and to the left of the Jijang-jeon, is this beautiful granite statue of the Bodhisattva of the Afterlife.

Temple Stay: Hwaunsa Temple (Gyeonggi-do)

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(Courtesy of the Hwaunsa Temple Facebook Page)

Hello Again Everyone!!

Introduction to the Temple:

Hwaunsa Temple, which means “Shining Cloud Temple,” in English, was established as a training centre for Buddhist nuns in 1962. The temple was originally constructed in 1938 by Jaeyun Cha, a Buddhist devotee. He constructed the temple at the foot of Mt. Myeokjosan as a small Buddhist sanctuary. Then, in 1962, the Venerable Biguni Ji Myeong came from Sudeoksa Temple to become the abbot at Hwaunsa Temple. It was under her direction that the temple became a Sangha College for Korean Buddhist nuns. Under her tutelage, over 500 nuns graduated directly under her guidance. In fact, Ven. Ji Myeong was a revered national Seon Master. It was under her that her disciple, Ven. Seonil, the abbot at the temple now, studied.

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(Courtesy of the Hwaunsa Temple Facebook Page)

Directions:

From Seoul:

From Seoul, you’ll first need to get to Jogyesa Temple. From the temple, you’ll need to find the Templestay Information Center, which is directly in front of Jogyesa Temple. From the Templestay Information Center, you’ll see the bus stop for the Red Bus #5000 about 50 metres to your right.

The Red Bus #5000 runs Monday to Sunday from 6:30 to 24:00. The bus runs every 10 minutes, and the bus ride to Hwaunsa Temple takes an hour and thirty-eight minutes.

You can take the Red Bus #5000 from Jogyesa Temple, or you can catch Red Bus #5003 directly at Gangnam Station. From Gangnam Station, the bus ride lasts anywhere from 30 to 45 minutes.

Which ever bus you decide to take, you’ll need to follow the signs where they drop you off out in front of Hwaunsa Temple. The walk is a mere 600 metres to the temple.

 

General Schedule: Hwaunsa Temple conducts two different types of programs. The first is the “Korean Buddhist Educational/Cultural Tour.” And the second program is the “Sunim’s Space: Experience Monastic Life Just as Sunims in Korea Live It!” The first is a one day program, while the other is a two day program.

 

A: Korean Buddhist Educational/Cultural Tour:

Day 1:

14:00 – 15:00: Arrival at Hwaunsa Temple. Introduction to temple etiquette, history, and culture.

15:00 – 16:00: Tour of Hwaunsa Temple (Main Buddha Hall, Healing Center, Meditation Hall, etc.)

16:00 – 17:00: Tea Time with Venerable Biguni Seonil, PhD

17:00 – 18:00: Dinner

18:00: Departure from Hwaunsa Temple

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(Courtesy of the Hwaunsa Temple Facebook Page)

 

B: Sunim’s Space: Experience Monastic Life Just as Sunims in Korea Live It!:

Day 1:

15:00 – 16:00: Arrival at Hwaunsa Temple. Introduction to temple etiquette, history, and culture.

16:00 – 17:00: Tour of Hwaunsa Temple (Main Buddha Hall, Healing Center, Meditation Hall, etc.)

17:00 – 18:00: Dinner

18:00 – 19:00: Evening Prayer in the Main Buddha Hall

19:00 – 20:00: Salt Mandela Making

20:00 – 21:00: Shower

21:00: Bedtime

Day 2:

04:00 – 05:00: Wake Up

05:00 – 06:00: Early morning prayer (Begins at 4:45)

06:00 – 07:00: Breakfast

07:00 – 08:00: Walking Meditation through the Mountain

08:00 – 09:00: Meditation/Sutra Study (On Your Own)

09:00 – 10:00: Communal Temple Work (Yurak)/Free Time

10:00 – 11:00: Mid-Morning Prayer

11:00 – 12:00: Tea Time with Venerable Biguni Seonil, PhD, Abbott of Hwaunsa Temple

12:00 – 13:00: Lunch

13:00: Departure from Hwaunsa

 

Hwaunsa Temple Information:

Address: Hwaunsa Int’l Templestay & Training Center 111-14 Dongbaekjukjeon-daero (Samga dong) Cheoin-gu, Yongin-so, Gyeonggido, Korea 449-060

Tel : 031-337-2576/Fax : 031-335-0465

homepage: http://hwaunsa.kr

E-mail: hws2555@templestay.com

Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/ProjectHwaunTemple

 

Fees:

To get more information on the two different temple stay programs, you’ll need to contact the temple directly.

 

Link:

Reservations for the Korean Buddhist Educational/Cultural Tour

Reservations for the  Sunim’s Space: Experience Monastic Life Just as Sunims in Korea Live It!

 

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(Courtesy of the Hwaunsa Temple Facebook Page)

 

Yugasa Temple – 유가사 (Daegu, Gyeongsangbuk-do)

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The view from the Sanshin-gak towards the main hall at Yugasa Temple in Daegu.

Hello Again Everyone!!

Located on the western slopes of Mt. Biseulsan in southern Daegu, Yugasa Temple dates back to 829 A.D. The temple was founded by the monk Doseong-guksa. The temple was constructed by Doseong-guksa on Mt. Biseulsan because the mountains that surround Yugasa Temple look like a screen for serene meditation.

Up a long winding countryside road is Yugasa Temple. The first few things to greet you at the temple are a couple of fields of stone pagodas (some of which are shaped like turtles). Through one of the stone stupa fields, and under a stone arched entry way, you’ll make your way up towards the Cheonwangmun Gate. The entire time you’re climbing the uneven set of stairs towards the temple grounds, the peak of Mt. Biseulsan hovers in the background and beautifully frames Yugasa Temple.

Emerging on the other side of the empty Cheonwangmun Gate, you’ll see the newly built bronze roofed Boje-ru Pavilion. To the far right of this pavilion is an old guardian shrine for the protection of the land that the temple sits upon. As for the Boje-ru, and after entering the main temple courtyard, you’ll be able to look back and enter the pavilion. Housed inside this large pavilion, and sitting on the large main altar to the right, are a triad of statues centred by Birojana-bul (The Buddha of Cosmic Energy). He’s joined on either side by Seokgamoni-bul (The Historical Buddha) and Nosana-bul (The Perfect Body Buddha). The triad is then surrounded on all sides by smaller statues of the Buddha. And to the left of the main altar hangs a painting dedicated to Jijang-bosal (The Bodhisattva of the Afterlife). The exterior walls to the large Boje-ru Pavilion have yet to be painted with their intricate dancheong colours. It can only be imagined just how beautiful this pavilion can truly be when completed.

Straight ahead of the Boje-ru Pavilion is the temple’s main hall. Except for the dancheong colours, the exterior walls to the main hall are unadorned. As for inside the main hall, a triad of statues sit on the main altar. The central image is Seokgamoni-bul. He’s joined on either side by Munsu-bosal (The Bodhisattva of Wisdom) and Bohyun-bosal (The Bodhisattva of Power). To the left rear of the main altar hangs an older-looking image of Dokseong (The Lonely Saint). And on the far right wall hangs the temple’s guardian mural.

To the right of the main hall stands a newly built shrine hall that has yet to be occupied by a Buddha or Bodhisattva. However, the exterior walls to this hall have some of the cutest Shimu-do, Ox-Herding, murals that you’ll find in Korea with a child-like monk attempting to find enlightenment. It is joined to the right by a historic statue dedicated to Seokgamoni-bul.

To the left of the main hall stands Yugasa Temple’s Nahan-jeon. And up the hillside, and past the low lying blue paper lanterns that line the route, stands the newly built Sanshin-gak. The large hall overlooks the rest of the temple grounds, and housed inside this hall is a beautiful, large image dedicated to the Mountain Spirit.

HOW TO GET THERE: From the Daegu Train Station, walk to get to the subway station, it takes only 3 minutes. It’s called the Daegu Station on the first line. Take the subway towards the Daegok subway stop. 15 stops later, or 30 minutes, get off at Daegok Station and take exit #1 out of the station. From there, you’ll find the Daegok bus stop. You’ll need to take Bus #600. After 40 stops, or an hour and thirty-five minutes, get off at the Yugasa stop, which is the last stop of the route. From there, walk 10 minutes towards the temple.

OVERALL RATING: 7.5/10. With a fair bit of new construction at this temple like the bronze roofed Boje-ru and the large Sanshin-gak, it’s beautifully blended with the historic main hall and the guardian shrine that lies at the entry of the temple gates. In addition to these structures, the temple also houses a beautiful collection of artwork that includes the historic Dokseong mural, the large Sanshin mural, and the Shimu-do artwork on the yet to be assigned shrine hall. And all of this is beautifully situated just south of the peaks of Mt. Biseulsan.

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The stone stupa entryway at Yugasa Temple.

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A closer look at one of the stone stupas.

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The path that leads up to the temple grounds.

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At the entry of the Cheonwangmun Gate.

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The old guardian shrine hall at the entry of Yugasa Temple.

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The big, bronze Boje-ru Pavilion at the temple.

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A look inside the pavilion.

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The main altar inside the Boje-ru Pavilion with Birojana-bul front and centre.

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The view from the Boje-ru out onto the main hall.

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A better look at the main hall, Nahan-jeon, and Samseong-gak at Yugasa Temple.

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The main altar inside the main hall.

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As well as the historic Dokseong mural.

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A guardian statue at the entry of the Nahan-jeon.

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The main altar inside the Nahan-jeon.

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One of the Nahan statues apparently taking donations.

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One of the cute Ox-Herding murals.

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The historic statue of Seokgamoni-bul at Yugasa Temple.

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A view of the temple courtyard.

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A view of the neighbouring hillside with even more stone pagodas.

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A look towards the Sanshin-gak from the main hall.

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The beautiful view from the Sanshin-gak towards the neighbouring mountains.

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And the amazing Mountain Spirit mural inside the Sanshin-gak.

Yongyeonsa Temple – 용연사 (Daegu, Gyeongsangbuk-do)

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The guardian murals inside the Geukrak-jeon main hall at Yongyeonsa Temple in Daegu.

Hello Again Everyone!!

Yongyeonsa Temple, which is located north of Mt. Biseulsan, and south of Daegu, was first established in 912 A.D. by the monk Boyang. The name of the temple, Yongyeonsa Temple, means “Dragon Flying to the Sky Temple,” in English. According to a legend, a dragon lived in a pond at the temple. By flying up into the sky, the dragon became a divine being. Repaired in 1419 by the monk Cheonil, the temple suffered severe damage by the invading Japanese in 1592. Finally, in 1728, the temple was restored to its former glory.

Just to the left of Yongyeon-ji pond, and at a bend in the road, you’ll finally approach the temple grounds. The first thing to welcome you to the temple grounds is the rather unique Iljumun Gate. Squat in stature, the gate is both vibrant and elaborate in the decorative artwork that adorns it.

A little further up the trail, and the path forks to both the right and left at the temple’s tea shop. To the right lays the temple’s main courtyard, while to the left lies the temple’s Jeokmyeol Bogung (a shrine that houses the Buddha’s remains established by the monk Jajang-yulsa).

To the right, you’ll first make your way through the temple’s Cheonwangmun Gate. Housed inside this gate are four older looking murals dedicated to the Four Heavenly Kings. Emerging on the other side of the Anyang-ru Pavilion, you’ll finally be situated in the centre of the temple’s main courtyard.

Straight ahead is the early 18th century Geukrak-jeon main hall at Yongyeonsa Temple. The exterior walls are lined with various Buddhist-motif murals like the Bodhidharma, Wonhyo-daesa and Uisang-daesa, and several others. Additionally, the lining walls that divide the grounds from the main hall are occupied by devotees’ rosary beads and statues that they’ve left behind. As for the main altar inside the Geukrak-jeon, it’s occupied by a centrally seated Amita-bul (The Buddha of the Western Paradise). He’s joined on either side by Gwanseeum-bosal (The Bodhisattva of Compassion) and Daesaeji-bosal (The Bodhisattva of Power and Wisdom for Amita-bul). The interior is also filled with numerous ancient paintings that are spread throughout. These paintings include a mural dedicated to Gwanseeum-bosal, as well as protective guardians.

Out in front of the Geukrak-jeon stands a 3.2 metre tall, three-tier stone pagoda that dates back to the early Goryeo Dynasty (918-1392) or the late Unified Silla Dynasty (668-935). To the left of the pagoda and the main hall is the Samseong-gak shaman shrine hall. Inside are housed three elaborate shaman murals dedicated to Sanshin (The Mountain Spirit), Dokseong (The Lonely Saint), and Chilseong (The Seven Stars). And to the right of the main hall stands the Nahan-jeon with beautiful Palsang-do murals decorating the exterior walls. As for the interior, and sitting in the centre of the main altar, is Seokgamoni-bul (The Historical Buddha). He’s joined by two lines of Nahan statues and vibrant paintings of the Historical Disciples of the Buddha.

Back down the pathway that leads through the temples grounds, and back to the part of the trail that forks, you’ll now need to head left to make your way towards the historic Jeokmyeol Bogung. No more than 5 minutes up the hillside lays another compound at Yongyeonsa Temple. Past the newly painted Four Heavenly Kings that await you, and up an uneven set of stone stairs, you’ll be welcomed by the hall that looks out onto the Jeokmyeol Bogung.

During the Imjin War, in 1592, the Buddha’s sari (crystallized remains) that were housed at Tongdosa Temple were safely moved to Mt. Myohyangsan. After the war, the sari were returned to Tongdosa Temple, but a portion of the sari were enshrined at Yongyeongsa Temple by the monk Cheongjin (a disciple of the famed monk, Samyeong-daesa). The ordination altar, or Seokjo Gyedan, that houses the sari was first established in 1613. Alongside Tongdosa Temple and Geumsansa Temple, the ordination altar is only one of three in Korea.

The ordination altar is buttressed by two smaller sized auxiliary halls. And the hall that people can pray inside that looks out onto the Seokjo Gyedan is occupied by several blue Buddha paintings populated by even smaller images of Seokgamoni-bul. As for the exterior walls to this hall, it’s decorated with simplistic Shimu-do, Ox-Herding, murals.

HOW TO GET THERE: From the Daegu Seobu (West) Bus Terminal, you’ll need to take Bus #606 and get off after 17 stops, or 27 minutes, at the Dalseong Middle School stop. The stop is across from the middle school. From there, take Bus #600 or the Dalseong 2 bus. After riding either bus for 11 stops, or 31 minutes, get off at the Yongyeonsa Temple stop. From this stop, you’ll need to walk about 1.1 km, or 15 minutes, up the road to get to the temple.

You can take a bus to the temple or you can simply take a taxi from the Daegu Seobu Bus Terminal. The taxi ride should take about 25 minutes, or 14.8 km, and cost about 13,000 won.

OVERALL RATING: 8/10. Just for being one of three temples in Korea that houses a historic ordination altar, it rates as highly as it does. But there is a lot more to see at Yongyeonsa Temple like the elaborate shaman murals inside the Samseong-gak, as well as the historic murals that fill the Geukrak-jeon main hall. While a bit out of the way, Yongyeonsa Temple makes for a nice day trip in the neighbouring Daegu countryside.

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The squat Iljumun Gate at Yongyeonsa Temple.

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Some of the decorative artwork that adorns the Iljumun Gate.

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The path and Cheonwangmun Gate the leads up to the main temple courtyard.

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One of the Four Heavenly Kings inside the Cheonwangmun Gate.

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The Geukrak-jeon main hall at Yongyeonsa Temple.

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Some of the murals that adorn the exterior walls to the Geukrak-jeon.

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A closer look at Wonhyo-daesa and Uisang-daesa.

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Some of the knick-knacks that have been left behind by temple devotees.

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The main altar inside the Geukrak-jeon.

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One of the historic murals inside the main hall.

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The mural on the back side of the main altar.

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The Gwanseeum-bosal mural inside the Geukrak-jeon.

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The Samseong-gak shaman shrine hall to the left of the main hall.

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One of the Shinseon (Spirit Immortals) that adorns the Samseong-gak’s exterior walls.

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A look inside the Samseong-gak hall at a seated Sanshin (Mountain Spirit).

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To the left of the main hall stands the Nahan-jeon.

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One of the Palsang-do murals that adorns the exterior walls of the Nahan-jeon.

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The main altar inside the Nahan-jeon.

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A row of Nahan statues and paintings.

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The path that leads towards the Jeokmyeol Bogung shrine.

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One of the vibrant Four Heavenly Kings near the ordination altar grounds.

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The hall that looks out onto the Seokjo Gyedan.

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Just one of the beautiful Ox-Herding murals that adorns the observational hall.

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And a look at the Seokjo Gyedan ordination altar.

Gilsangsa Temple – 길상사 (Changwon, Gyeongsangnam-do)

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Mt. Jeongbyeongsan and a highway overpass together at Gilsangsa Temple in Changwon, Gyeongsangnam-do.

Hello Again Everyone!!

Gilsangsa Temple is located on the eastern outskirts of Changwon, Gyeongsangnam-do. Situated next to Changwon University, and under the Highway 25 overpass, Gilsangsa Temple is beautifully framed by the neighbouring Mt. Jeongbyeongsan.

First approaching from a little rural road off of Highway 25, you’ll find the Gilsangsa Temple parking lot that hikers also use so that they can explore Mt. Jeongbyeongsan. Passing under a towering overpass, and past an artificial pond, you’ll finally approach the temple courtyard. The first things to greet you are the beautiful gardens and a Koi pond. During the summer months, these gardens come alive with baby-blue hydrangea and pale pink lotus flowers. As for the Koi pond, it’s well stocked with colourful Koi and a Japanese maple situated on an elevated island in the middle of the pond.

Having passed through trees that help canopy the temple gardens, you’ll finally notice the two-story golden main hall at Gilsangsa Temple. It’s the only hall at the temple (besides the monks’ dorms and the visitors’ centre). Out in front of the elevated golden main hall is a stone relief of a triad of figures. In the centre stands Amita-bul (The Buddha of the Western Paradise). This relief is then joined by a row of beautiful pink, potted lotus flowers.

Either heading right or left towards the stairs that lead up to the main hall, you’ll pass by a dense bamboo forest that surrounds the golden Geukrak-jeon on all sides. The bamboo forest is decorated with a string of white paper lanterns. Uniquely, the main altar inside the Geukrak-jeon faces towards the left and not front to back. But when you realize that the main altar faces the west and that the Geukrak-jeon main hall is built for housing Amita-bul (The Buddha of the Western Paradise), the main hall’s peculiarity starts to make a bit more sense. And joining Amita-bul on the main altar is Gwanseeum-bosal (The Bodhisattva of Compassion) and Daesaeji-bosal (The Wisdom and Power for Amita-bul).

To the far right, and still on the first floor of the Geukrak-jeon, you’ll notice a set of stairs. These stairs lead up to the second story of the main hall. The first site to greet you are row upon row of miniature Buddha statues. The rows upon rows of Buddhas inside the Cheonbul-jeon Hall are joined on the main altar by three larger statues. In the centre of these three statues sits Seokgamoni-bul (The Historical Buddha). To the far left of this collection of statues hangs a mural dedicated to Sanshin (The Mountain Spirit). This rather plain looking shaman deity is also joined by a solitary statue of Yaksayore-bul (The Medicine Buddha), who is tucked away in the far left corner.

HOW TO GET THERE: The easiest way to get to any temple is to take a taxi from the closest intercity bus terminal and Gilsangsa Temple is no different. From the Masan Intercity Bus Terminal, you can take a taxi to Gilsangsa Temple. It’ll take about 22 minutes and cost about 13,500 won.

OVERALL RATING: 6/10. Without a doubt, the beautiful two-story golden, Geukrak-jeon main hall is the star attraction at Gilsangsa Temple. With its large open concept that packs a collection of shrines inside this hall, you’ll need to take your time to make sure you see all that the hall has to offer. In addition to this hall, you can also enjoy the unique combination of nature and construction with the closeness of a 500 metre tall mountain that runs up against Highway 25. Additionally, the temple’s gardens are something to enjoy for their vibrancy and colour.

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Another beautiful view of the overpass and nature, together.

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The reflection of the overpass imprinting itself on the artificial pond.

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The forested pathway that leads towards the temple’s main hall.

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A beautiful baby blue hydrangea.

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A Koi swimming around the shallow pond.

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One of the lotus flowers at Gilsangsa Temple.

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The golden Geukrak-jeon main hall that’s beautifully framed by the fog covered Mt. Jeongbyeongsan.

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A stunning pink lotus flower in full bloom.

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A closer look at the two-story golden main hall.

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A line of white paper lanterns adorning the thick bamboo forest at Gilsangsa Temple.

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The front entrance to the golden main hall.

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The main altar inside the Geukrak-jeon.

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The winding stairs that lead up to the second-story inside the Geukrak-jeon.

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The rows of smaller sized Buddha statues.

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Yaksayore-bul who is tucked away in the corner.

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Yaksayore-bul is joined by this mural of Sanshin.

Sudasa Temple – 수다사 (Gumi, Gyeongsangbuk-do)

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 The jovial dharma that greets you at Sudasa Temple.

Hello Again Everyone!!

Sudasa Temple, in Gumi, Gyeongsangbuk-do, is located on the southern slopes of Mt. Giyangsan. Sudasa Temple was first called Yeonhwasa Temple, which means “Lotus Flower Temple.” It was founded by Jingam-guksa during the reign of Silla King Munseong (r. 839-857). The temple was named Yeonhwasa Temple because Jingam-guksa saw a lotus in full bloom on neighbouring Mt. Yeonaksan. Tragically, the temple was destroyed by fire. However, it was rebuilt in 1185 by the monk Gakwon-daesa. At this time, the temple was renamed Seongamsa Temple. But in 1273, the temple, once more, was destroyed; this time, by floods. The temple was rebuilt in the middle of the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910) by the famed monks Seosan-daesa and Samyeong-daesa. It was at this time that the temple was renamed Sudasa Temple. In 1684, all but for the Myeongbu-jeon Hall at the temple, all other buildings were destroyed by fire. Now, Sudasa Temple has a handful of temple halls.

When you first approach the temple, after passing the simplistic Iljumun Gate, you’ll arrive at the temple parking lot and the fattest and most jovial stone dharma you’ll ever see is waiting to greet you. It’s past this stone statue, and up a set of stairs, that you’ll enter the temple’s main courtyard.

The first of the buildings to greet you is Sudasa Temple’s Myeongbu-jeon Hall, which is also the oldest shrine hall at the temple. The exterior walls to this hall are adorned with various murals including the Dragon Ship of Wisdom and the sufferings of souls in the Underworld. It also includes some fading murals at the entrance of the hall. Inside the shrine hall sits a green-haired statue of Jijang-bosal (The Bodhisattva of the Afterlife). He’s joined by ten large seated statues of the Ten Kings of the Underworld. Up in the rafters of the shrine hall are some beautiful, wooden dragons.

Next to the Myeongbu-jeon Hall is the temple’s main hall. The exterior walls to this hall are painted with some vibrant Palsang-do murals. Inside this hall, and seated on the main altar, sits a large golden statue dedicated to Amita-bul (The Buddha of the Western Paradise). The statue of Amita-bul dates back to 1649. This statue is backed by a Vulture Peak Assembly mural that was painted in 1731. This mural also just so happens to be Treasure #1638. Up near the rafters of the main hall are two unique incarnations of Munsu-bosal (The Bodhisattva of Wisdom) and Bohyun-bosal (The Bodhisattva of Power) in painted form. So have a look up when visiting the main hall at both of these paintings, as well as the floral ceiling.

Between both the main hall and the Myeongbu-jeon, and up a bamboo grove, is the temple’s Sanshin-gak. Housed inside this solitary hall is a seated mural of Sanshin (The Mountain Spirit). Dressed all in red, he’s joined by a large dongja who is carrying a cup of tea for Sanshin.

Past the main hall, and the monks’ dorms, you’ll find Sudasa Temple’s Samseong-gak. It’s past a bridge and up a set of stairs that you’ll find this hall. The three shaman murals are more modern-looking than that Sanshin mural up in the Sanshin-gak. This Sanshin mural, alongside Dokseong (The Lonely Saint) and Chilseong (The Seven Stars), sits in front of a peach tree and underneath a twisted red pine.

HOW TO GET THERE: The easiest way to get to Sudasa Temple is from the Gumi Train Station. From the train station, you’ll need to take a taxi to the temple. The drive should take about 40 minutes and cost you about 25,000 won.

OVERALL RATING: 5.5/10. Both of the Sanshin paintings inside their respective halls are a contrast in style about an identical subject, which is quite rare to find at a single Korean Buddhist temple. The pair of Sanshin murals are joined by the early 18th century Vulture Peak Assembly mural, and the 1649 Amita-bul statue, as highlights at Sudasa Temple. A bit out of the way, the natural surroundings are also something to enjoy while visiting this isolated Gumi temple.

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Both the main hall and the Myeongbu-jeon Hall at Sudasa Temple.

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One of the Underworld paintings adorning the Myeongbu-jeon Hall.

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Another of the Myeongbu-jeon paintings; this time, it’s the Dragon Ship of Wisdom.

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Inside the Myeongbu-jeon Hall with a look at Jijang-bosal.

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One of the red-faced Vajra warriors at the entry of the Myeongbu-jeon.

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The bamboo trail that leads up to Sudasa Temple’s Sanshin-gak.

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The Sanshin-gak.

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The mural of Sanshin inside the Sanshin-gak.

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A look across the front of the main hall with the temple’s guard dog looking in on the morning service.

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One of the Palsang-do murals adorning the exterior walls.

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Some of the temple’s landscaping at Sudasa Temple.

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The temple bridge.

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The Samseong-gak shaman shrine hall at Sudasa Temple.

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And the second Sanshin mural, a more modern version of the Mountain Spirit, inside the Samseong-gak.

Bulgulsa Temple – 불굴사 (Gyeongsan, Gyeongsangbuk-do)

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The historic Buddha statue at Bulgulsa Temple in Gyeongsan, Gyeongsangbuk-do.

Hello Again Everyone!!

On Mt. Muhaksan, and just past the local mental institution, lays Bulgulsa Temple in Gyeongsan, Gyeongsangbuk-do. Bulgulsa Temple dates back to 690 A.D. During its peak, the temple housed over 50 buildings and had 12 associated hermitages.

When first approaching the elevated temple grounds, you’ll notice a collection of buildings that are under construction. It’s to the right of these buildings that you’ll first notice the simple bell pavilion. Up a set of uneven stairs, and past a garish, plastic Heavenly King, you’ll enter the temple’s courtyard.

Straight ahead lays the main hall. Out in front of the main hall stands a three-tier stone pagoda that dates back to the Unified Silla Dynasty (668-935 A.D.). The 7.43 metre tall pagoda is both well preserved and rather common for the pagodas of this era in Korean history.

Surrounding the exterior walls to the main hall are a nice collection of Shimu-do, Ox-Herding, murals. As for the interior, and similar to the main hall at Tongdosa Temple, there is simply a window where statues should be seated on the main altar. This window looks out onto a stupa. Purportedly, this stupa enshrines some sari (crystallized remains) from the Historical Buddha, Seokgamoni-bul. Other than this, the only other things that the main hall houses is a guardian mural on the far right wall, as well as seated statues of the Buddha with white paper hats on their heads.

To the right of main hall, and excluding the monks’ dorms, there are a couple of halls that visitors can explore at Bulgulsa Temple. The first is a diminutive Dokseong/Sanshin-gak. Housed inside this shrine hall are two rather plain shaman deities. The other hall, the Myeongbu-jeon, is attached to part of the monks’ dorms. This rather long, narrow hall houses a solitary statue dedicated to Jijang-bosal (The Bodhisattva of the Afterlife). This statue is joined by an assortment of Bodhisattva paintings which include Munsu-bosal (The Bodhisattva of Wisdom), Bohyun-bosal (The Bodhisattva of Power), and Gwanseeum-bosal (The Bodhisattva of Compassion).

To the left of the main hall, and the real highlight to the temple, is the ancient stone statue of the Buddha. The exact date and image of the Buddha are unknown; however, the statue has been well preserved. The 233 centimetre tall statue is placed on a natural ridge of rock. The chubby faced Buddha holds a jar in his left hand, while his right hand is pointed down towards the ground below. Uniquely, the shrine hall has been built around the statue.

Perched over top of the temple southwest of Bulgulsa Temple is Hongjuam Hermitage. In and among the natural contours of the mountain’s rocks is a beautiful relief of Seokgamoni-bul. And on another mountain ridge, to the southeast, stands a statue of Yaksayore-bul (The Medicine Buddha).

HOW TO GET THERE: Because of its remoteness, the only way that you can get to Bulgulsa Temple from the neighbouring city of Gyeongsan is to take a taxi from the Gyeongsan Intercity Bus Terminal. The taxi ride should take about 55 minutes and it should cost about 25,000 won.

OVERALL RATING: 6.5/10. Bulgulsa Temple has a few things for visitors to enjoy. One is the purported earthly remains of Seokgamoni-bul housed in a stupa behind the main hall. Another highlight is the ancient Buddha statue, as well as Hongjuam Hermitage that lays up in a neighbouring mountain ridge.

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The elevated bell pavilion at Bulgulsa Temple.

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The temple courtyard.

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A closer look at the three-tier stone pagoda and the main hall.

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A look through the window inside the main hall out towards the stupa that houses the Buddha’s sari.

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One of the white-hatted Buddhas inside the main hall.

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One of the Shimu-do paintings from the set of ten murals.

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A closer look at the stupa that houses the Buddha’s sari.

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A look towards the Dokseong/Sanshin-gak.

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The rather ordinary Sanshin mural.

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The entrance to the Myeongbu-jeon hall to the far left.

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A look inside the Myeongbu-jeon hall.

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The shrine hall that houses the historic Buddha statue.

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A look at the actual Buddha statue.

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A better look at both the Buddha and inside the shrine hall.

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One last look around the temple courtyard.

Heungguksa Temple – 흥국사 (Yeosu, Jeollanam-do)

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Some beautiful flowers enjoying a bit of springtime rain at Heungguksa Temple in Yeosu, Jeollanam-do.

Hello Again Everyone!!

Heugguksa Temple, which lies just north of the Yeosu city centre, is situated on the eastern slopes of Mt. Yeongchwisan (Vulture Peak Mountain). The name of the temple, Heungguksa Temple, means “Temple of Flourishing Kingdom Temple,” in English. Heungguksa Temple was first built in 1196 by the famed monk Jinul. The temple was built in this location to fulfill a former monk’s prophecy. The prophecy stated that if a temple was built on the grounds that Heungguksa Temple now occupies, the nation would flourish. The temple was completely destroyed by the Mongol invasion during the Goryeo Dynasty (918-1392). After some of the temple buildings were rebuilt after this invasion, they were destroyed once more during the Imjin War in 1592 and 1597. Heungguksa Temple was rebuilt once more in 1642 by the monk Gyeteuk.

You first approach the temple grounds past the stately Iljumun Gate. The first sign that you’re approaching the temple grounds is a grouping of twelve stupas that also include the earthly remains of Jinul, as well as other prominent monks from eastern Jeollanam-do. A little further along, and just before you pass through the Cheonwangmun Gate, is a turtle-based stele that dates back to 1703. The history of the temple’s reconstruction is written on the body of the biseok.

Inside the Cheonwangmun Gate are four descriptive statues of the Four Heavenly Kings that stand on an elevated enclosure. To the left of this gate is the temple’s museum which houses an 18th century Gwaebul painting of Nosana-bul (The Perfect Body Buddha). The museum is joined by a weathered bell pavilion that houses an equally old looking collection of Buddhist percussion instruments.

Straight ahead of the Cheonwangmun Gate, and just before you enter the temple courtyard, you’ll be greeted by the Beopwangmun Gate. Originally constructed in 1624, the interior of this gate is rather spacious.

Having stepped inside the main temple courtyard, and straight ahead, lays the Daeung-jeon main hall at Heungguksa Temple. The main hall dates back to 1624. Out in front of the main hall is some beautiful masonry, which includes a turtle based stone lantern (which now looks more like a demon than a turtle), as well as some decorative reliefs on the stairs that lead up to the main hall. Surrounding the exterior walls to this hall are pastoral paintings. As for the interior, and resting on the main altar, are a triad of statues centred by Seokgamoni-bul (The Historical Buddha). He’s joined by Mireuk-bul (The Future Buddha) and Jaehwagara-bul (The Past Buddha). These statues date back to 1628-1644. The masterful main altar painting that backs these statues dates back to 1693. In the back left corner is a historic all-white image of Gwanseeum-bosal.

To the right of the main hall is the temple’s Myeongbu-jeon. Inside this hall sits the Ten Kings of the Underworld, as well as green-haired statue of Jijang-bosal (The Bodhisattva of the Afterlife) front and centre. These statues date back to the 17th century and are backed by elaborate paintings of the worlds that the Ten Kings rule over in the afterlife.

To the rear of the main hall is the Buljo-jeon, which houses some ancient artifacts from the temple. Unfortunately, this hall is locked at all times. To the rear of this hall, and slightly up an embankment, are a pair of halls. Passing under a low lying entry gate, the first of the two halls is the Palsang-jeon. This hall houses eight replica paintings from the Buddha’s Life (Palsang-do murals). To the left of the Palsang-jeon is the Nahan-jeon. Newly rebuilt, the hall houses replicas of original paintings of the Nahan.

The final pair of halls that visitors can enjoy at Heungguksa Temple lie to the rear of the temple grounds. The first is the Wontong-jeon, which houses a multi-arm and headed statue of Gwanseeum-bosal. Purportedly, the hall was first constructed in 1633, but judging from the architecture, it’s probably closer to the 19th century because of the brackets holding up the hall. Just below the Wontong-jeon is an artificial cave that houses a dragon-spout well, as well as two stone reliefs dedicated to Gwanseeum-bosal and Yongwang (The Dragon King).

Admission to the temple is 2,000 won.

HOW TO GET THERE: From the Yeosu Intercity Bus Terminal, you’ll need to board Bus #52 to get to Heungguksa Temple. The bus leaves every 40 minutes from the terminal, and the ride should take about an hour from the terminal to the temple.

OVERALL RATING: 7.5/10. Heungguksa Temple has a wide variety of shrine halls that visitors can enjoy while exploring the temple grounds. Beautifully situated under Mt. Yeongchwisan on large grounds, the stone masonry in and around the main hall is something to enjoy at the temple. The ancient buildings, as well as the artwork that adorns the halls both inside and out, are something to take your time with, too. There’s a little of something for everyone at Heungguksa Temple.

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The Iljumun Gate that welcomes you at Heungguksa Temple.

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The pathway that leads you towards the temple courtyard.

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Part of the set of twelve prominent stupas at the temple.

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The large commemorative stele at the entry of Heungguksa Temple.

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A look through the Cheonwangmun Gate.

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Just one of the Four Heavenly Kings housed inside the Cheonwangmun Gate.

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The hollow Beopwangmun Gate.

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A look through the gate towards the main hall at Heungguksa Temple.

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A better look at the Daeung-jeon.

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The turtle-based stone lantern out in front of the main hall.

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A closer look at the turtle-based stone lantern. Looks a little more like a goblin these days.

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A look inside the Daeung-jeon at the main altar and the 17th century statues.

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The uniquely supported dharma drum at Heungguksa Temple.

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A collection of dongja (attendants) that line the museum walls.

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The unpainted Myeongbu-jeon at the temple.

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A look inside at the 17th century statues of Jijang-bosal and the Ten Kings of the Underworld.

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A look past the Buljo-jeon towards the upper courtyard.

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The diminutive gate that welcomes you to the upper courtyard and the Palsang-jeon.

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The main altar inside the Palsang-jeon.

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And the main altar inside the Nahan-jeon.

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The secluded Wontong-jeon at Heungguksa Temple.

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The Yongwang-dang at the temple.

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With a look inside the shaman shrine hall.

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Enjoying the rain and the view.

Hyangiram Hermitage – 향일암 (Yeosu, Jeollanam-do)

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Hyangiram Hermitage in Yeosu, Jeollanam-do on a rainy day.

Hello Again Everyone!!

Located in the very southern tip of Yeosu, Jeollanam-do, and perched in and around the crags and crevices of Mt. Geumosan, is Hyangiram Hermitage. The hermitage was first founded in 644 A.D. by the famed monk Wonhyo-daesa. It was here that Wonhyo-daesa had a vision of Gwanseeum-bosal (The Bodhisattva of Compassion). Originally, the temple was known as Wontongam Hermitage, until the High Priest Yun Pil changed the name of the hermitage to Geumoam Hermitage in 950 A.D. while studying there. In 1592, the entire hermitage was burnt to the ground by the Japanese during the Imjin War. In 1715, the hermitage was rebuilt by the monk Inmuk-daesa. It was also at this time that the hermitage was renamed with its present name of Hyangiram Hermitage, which means “Looking Out at the Sun Hermitage,” in English. On December 20th, 2009, the main hall at the hermitage, as well as the bell tower, was completely destroyed by fire. Fortunately, the rest of the hermitage was spared from this fire, and both the main hall and the bell tower have been rebuilt in recent years. Hyangiram Hermitage, alongside three other hermitages like neighbouring Boriam Hermitage in Namhae, Gyeongsangnam-do, are four holy sites for the worship of Gwanseeum-bosal.

You first approach the hermitage grounds past a large collection of stores and restaurants. About half way up the mountain, you’ll come to the hermitage’s admission booth. After paying your 2,000 won entry fee, you can either head left towards the stately Iljumun Gate and large turtle-based stele, or you can head right up the road that monks use for their vehicles at the hermitage. I would suggest the much more beautiful, and scenic, left pathway.

The aforementioned trail will zig-and-zag its way up the mountain, until you arrive at the outskirts of the hermitage grounds. Just outside the temple grounds, once again, you can either head right towards the Samseong-gak shaman shrine hall or head left towards the main hall. Again, I would recommend heading left and making your way through a narrow opening in the rocks and up a flight of stairs sculpted from the mountain’s rock face.

It’s only after appearing on the other side of these naturally occurring obstacles that you get a great view of the South Sea from the hermitage’s main courtyard. You also get to see some islands that dot the horizon, as well as a neighbouring harbour.

Behind you stands the newly rebuilt Daeung-jeon main hall at Hyangiram Hermitage. Lining the exterior walls are a set of Palsang-do murals, as well as a collection of phoenixes and zodiac animals that line the eaves of the hall. Stepping inside the main hall, you’ll be greeted by a triad of statues centred by Seokgamoni-bul (The Historical Buddha). He’s joined on either side by Jijang-bosal (The Bodhisattva of the Afterlife) and Gwanseeum-bosal.

To the right of the main hall, and up a set of stone stairs, is the Samseong-gak shaman shrine hall. Again, and from this elevated vantage point, you get an amazing view of the South Sea. Inside the main hall are a pair of haunting murals dedicated to Dokseong (The Lonely Saint) and Sanshin (The Mountain Spirit). As for the exterior walls, there are a pair of tigers, one of which has its ferocious mouth wide open.

To the left of the main hall, and past the newly rebuilt bell pavilion, are a set of stairs that lead you to the rear of the Daeung-jeon. It’s through an opening in the mountain’s face, and up a set of stairs situated in a crevice on the mountain, that you’ll finally come to the Gwaneeum-jeon. Sitting all alone on the main altar, and backed by a simplistic black mural, is a rather small seated statue of Gwanseeum-bosal. To the left of this hall stands a three metre tall stone statue dedicated to the Bodhisattva of Compassion. Yet another great view of the seaside landscape awaits you from the heights of the Gwaneeum-jeon. It’s also from this vantage point, and if you look down towards the greenery that lies at your feet past the arm rail, you’ll notice a rock outcropping with the name of Wonhyo-daesa written on it. It’s from here that Wonhyo-daesa also enjoyed the amazing view way back in the 7th century.

Admission to the temple is 2,000 won.

HOW TO GET THERE: To get to Hyangiram Hermitage from Yeosu and back, it will probably take you the better part of the day to do. From the Yeosu Bus Terminal, you’ll need to cross the road and take either Bus #111 or Bus #113 to get to the Impo bus stop (임포 향일암). The bus ride should take about an hour and a half to do. From the bus stop, go 100 metres up the road with the ocean to your left. At the GS 25 convenience store, turn right and start the ascent up the mountain. Eventually, you’ll come to the entry gate where you have to pay. After that, just follow the signs the rest of the way towards Hyangiram Hermitage.

OVERALL RATING: 8.5/10. For the view alone, this hermitage rates as high as it does. But when you add into the mix the narrow crevices and cracks that link all the halls together, as well as the beautiful artwork all around Hyangiram Hermitage, and you know why this remote hermitage is a must see for any temple adventure seeker.

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The stairs that lead up to Hyangiram Hermitage.

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A large stele along the way.

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A closer look at the Iljumun Gate as the rain continues to fall.

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One of the crevices you’ll have to pass through on your way up to the hermitage courtyard.

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A flight of stairs and you’ll finally see all that Hyangiram Hermitage has to offer.

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The foggy view of the South Sea with an obscured island off in the distance.

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A foggy harbour down below.

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A look up towards the Daeung-jeon and Mt. Geumosan.

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A look inside the Daeung-jeon at the main altar.

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One of the Palsang-do murals that adorns the main hall.

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As well as some amazing eaves’ work on the Daeung-jeon.

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Both the bell pavilion and Daeung-jeon roof close together.

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A cave entryway at the hermitage.

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The flight of stairs that lead through another large crevice and up towards the Gwaneeum-jeon.

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A look at the Gwaneeum-jeon through the rain.

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The front facade of the Gwaneeum-jeon.

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The meditative stone that Wonhyo-daesa prayed upon, as well as a foggy South Sea off in the distance.

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A look inside the Gwaneeum-jeon at the main altar inside.

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To the left of the Gwaneeum-jeon is this statue of the Bodhisattva of Compassion.

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And to the right of the main hall is the Samseong-gak shaman shrine hall at Hyangiram Hermitage.

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The obscured view from the rolling fog from the Samseong-gak towards the Daeung-jeon.

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A decorative, and ferociously posed, tiger on one of the exterior walls of the Samseong-gak.

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The view from the Samseong-gak.

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The Sanshin mural inside the Samseong-gak.

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And a look out onto the rain from the shaman shrine hall.

Jinhongsa Temple – 진홍사 (Geumgok, Busan)

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Inside the main hall during Buddha’s birthday at Jinhongsa Temple in Geumgok, Busan.

Hello Again Everyone,

Jinhongsa Temple in Geumgok is a rather new temple in the northern part of Busan. While smaller in size, the temple is highly popular among the local population.

Located next to a university and a crowded amount of apartments, Jinhongsa Temple is the last structure before the forested hills of Mt. Geumjeongsan. The first structure to greet you at the temple is the simplistic Iljumun Gate. To the left of the Iljumun Gate lies a collection of stupas and a stele.

Past these introductory structures, and up a bit of an incline, are the three temple buildings at Jinhongsa Temple. To the far left is the monks’ dorms and visitors centre. Straight ahead, and above the temple’s kitchen on the first floor, is the temple’s main hall. The exterior walls to the main hall are beautifully decorated with Palsang-do murals. As for the interior, and resting on the main altar, are a triad of statues centred by Birojana-bul (The Buddha of Cosmic Energy). He’s joined on either side Seokgamoni-bul (The Historical Buddha) and Nosana-bul (The Perfect Body Buddha). The triad sit under a stunning red canopy that are adorned with twisting blue dragons underneath the canopy. And on the far left wall is a wooden guardian relief.

To the right of the main hall stands another two storied temple hall. The second of which is a shrine hall for people to pray in at Jinhongsa Temple. The exterior walls to this hall are lined with dongja (assistants) either playing or helping. Once you enter this hall, which you enter from the east, you’ll be greeted by a large red canopy. Underneath this canopy sit three slender statues centred by Seokgamoni-bul. He’s joined by the familiar statues of Jijang-bosal (The Bodhisattva of the Afterlife) and Gwanseeum-bosal (The Bodhisattva of Compassion). And on the far wall there hangs a red mural dedicated to Jijang-bosal.

HOW TO GET THERE: Take exit #6 at Geumgok subway station (#238) on the second line. At the first major road, you’ll need to cross the street and head east towards Mt. Geumjeongsan. Follow this road to the right of the university for 1.6 km. The hike should only take you 5 minutes.

OVERALL RATING: 4/10. While not the most overwhelming of temples to visit in Korea, it’s a nice little oasis in northern Busan. While the temple buildings are made from concrete, all the statues on the main altars are masterfully sculpted, as are the paintings adorning the exterior walls to all the halls. There is also a restive Koi pond at the base of the main hall at Jinhongsa Temple. So while not the most expansive of temples in Korea, it makes for a nice little break from the urban clutter in northern Busan.

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The stupas and stele at the entry of Jinhongsa Temple.

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The Iljumun Gate at the temple.

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The temple’s main hall during Buddha’s birthday.

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The meditative Koi pond out in front of the main hall.

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One of the Korean style Palsang-do murals adorning the exterior walls of the main hall.

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The nearness of nature at Jinhongsa Temple.

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A look inside the main hall at the main altar.

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The unpainted wooden guardian relief inside the main hall.

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The other shrine hall at Jinhongsa Temple.

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One of the dongja murals that adorns the exterior walls to this shrine hall.

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Some of the decorative Buddhist artwork underfoot.

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The main altar inside the adjoining shrine hall.

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The Jijang-bosal mural at Jinhongsa Temple.

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One last look at one of the shrine halls at Jinhongsa Temple.