Mujinam Hermitage – 무진암 (Buyeo, Chungcheongnam-do)


An early morning image of Mujinam Hermitage in Buyeo, Chungcheongnam-do.

Hello Again Everyone!!

Directly to the south of its associated temple, Muryangsa Temple, lies Mujinam Hermitage in Buyeo, Chungcheongnam-do. As you first approach the hermitage, you’ll be welcomed to the grounds by a dozen outlying stupas. It’s just past this monastic cemetery, as well as past the monks’ dorms, that you’ll finally enter the compact Mujinam Hermitage courtyard.

Immediately, you’ll notice the temple’s main hall with a three-story stone pagoda out in front of it. The base is adorned with four directional lions, as well as ornamental images of various Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. As for the main hall itself, there are simple Palsang-do murals adorning the exterior walls to the hall. Inside the main hall is probably one of the larger canopies hanging over the main altar that you’ll find in Korea. As for the main altar, there are a triad of statues centred by Seokgamoni-bul (The Historical Buddha) seated underneath the golden canopy. He’s joined on either side by Jijang-bosal (The Bodhisattva of the Afterlife) and Gwanseeum-bosal (The Bodhisattva of Compassion). This is a rather typical triad at smaller temples and hermitages throughout Korea. What is less typical are the golden hued murals that hang throughout the main hall. The first painting directly to the right of the main altar is the golden Chilseong (Seven Stars) mural. It’s joined on the right wall by the equally golden guardian mural. Both are highly original in their composition.

To the right rear of the main hall is the Yaksayore-bul statue with an ornate, fiery nimbus surrounding the seated image of the Buddha of Medicine. To the left of the main hall is the still unpainted Sanshin/Dokseong-gak. Much like the Chilseong mural and the guardian mural housed inside the main hall, both Sanshin (The Mountain Spirit) and Dokseong (The Lonely Saint) are beautifully highlighted in golden hues.

HOW TO GET THERE: To get to Mujinam Hermitage, you’ll first need to get to Muryangsa Temple. From the Nambu Terminal in Seoul, you should take an express bus to the Buyeo Intercity Bus Terminal. From this terminal, head left out the exit and continue to walk towards the big street. After crossing the road, take Bus #127 from the Buyeo Market Bus Stop. Then, at the Muryang Village Bus Stop, which is 37 stops away, get off and walk towards Muryangsa Temple. However, before arriving at the larger Muryangsa Temple, hang a left for about 200 metres before arriving at the temple to get to Mujinam Hermitage.

OVERALL RATING: 4/10. While small in size, there are a few highlights to Mujinam Hermitage near Muryangsa Temple. One of these highlights are all the golden clothing of the various shaman figures in the hermitage’s paintings. Also, the masterful stone statue of Yaksayore-bul, as well as the hermitage’s pagoda are something to have a closer look at while visiting this hermitage.


The monastic cemetery at Mujinam Hermitage.


The early morning light at Mujinam Hermitage in Buyeo, Chungcheongnam-do.


The three-story stone pagoda at the hermitage.


One of the Palsang-do murals adorning the main hall at Mujinam Hermitage.


The main altar inside the main hall.


The golden guardian mural inside the main hall.


As well as the equally golden Chilseong mural.


The elegant Yaksayore-bul statue at Mujinam Hermitage.


The Sanshin/Dokseong-gak at the hermitage.


A look at the golden Sanshin.


As well as the golden robed Dokseong.


One last look around Mujinam Hermitage.

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