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.

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