Bogaksa Temple – 보각사 (Yangsan, Gyeongsangnam-do)

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The view of the city of Yangsan down below as you exit the main hall at Bogaksa Temple.

Hello Again Everyone!!

Perched on Mt. Obongsan in Yangsan, Gyeongsangnam-do, where the buildings give way to the forested mountain, is Bogaksa Temple. To get to the elevated Bogaksa Temple grounds, you’ll first need to trek your way up the narrow side-streets as you make your way to the all-new temple. In fact, from the base of the mountain, up to the temple grounds, you’ll need to climb 150 metres in altitude.

When you finally do arrive at Bogaksa Temple, you’ll be met by the front façade retaining wall and a standoffish Iljumun Gate. The two pillared Iljumun Gate is adorned with two fiercely painted guardians on both doors. Also, the ceiling of the gate is painted with decorative Biseon.

Climbing the side-winding set of stone stairs, you’ll pass by a masterful relief of a crowned Bodhisattva. It’s finally when summiting the stone stairs that you stand in Bogaksa Temple’s main temple courtyard. There are relaxing seats to enjoy the view, as well as some purple and pink water lilies. They are joined by the nuns’ dorms and a visitors centre. But it’s the newly constructed main hall that stands out above all the other structures at the temple.

First constructed in the spring of 2015, the main hall’s exterior walls are masterfully adorned with Shimu-do and Palsang-do murals. The Shimu-do, Ox-Herding, murals rest on the bottom of the two sets in a circular style of painting; while the Palsang-do murals rest above them and are much larger in size. Additionally, the colourful wooden lattices and Nathwi that adorn the front doors of the main hall are something to keep an eye out for, as well. Stepping in the side door of the main hall, you’ll first notice the solitary statue of Seokgamoni-bul (The Historical Buddha) sitting on the main altar. To the right of the seated statue of the Buddha hang three paintings. The furthest is the large sized guardian mural. It’s joined by a vibrantly painted Sanshin (Mountain Spirit) mural, as well as an intricately painted mural of an all-white Gwanseeum-bosal (The Bodhisattva of Compassion). To the left of the main altar hangs two more paintings. The one closest to the main altar is Jijang-bosal (The Bodhisattva of the Afterlife). He’s joined by an equally animated mural of Chilseong (The Seven Stars).

Stepping out from the main hall, you’ll notice some amazing views of the city of Yangsan down below from the elevated foundation of the main hall.

HOW TO GET THERE: From the Busan University Yangsan Campus subway stop, stop #241 on the second line, you’ll need to go out exit #3 and board a taxi bound for Bogaksa Temple. The ride should last about 10 minutes and cost about 4,000 to 5,000 won.

OVERALL RATING: 4/10. While not all that large in size, and not that old in age, Bogaksa Temple certainly has a few highlights to this modern temple. One is the views of Yangsan from the heights of the temple. Another are all the paintings housed inside and outside the main hall. And if you come during late summer and early fall, you’ll be able to see some beautiful water lilies in full bloom.

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The two pillared Iljumun Gate at Bogaksa Temple.

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One of the fierce decorative guardians painted on the doors to the Iljumun Gate.

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The view as you look through the Iljumun Gate.

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The crowned stone Bodhisattva relief as you climb the stone stairs.

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A look through the front door of the main hall at Bogaksa Temple.

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Some of the main hall’s floral latticework.

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The final painting in the Palsang-do set.

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Just one of the masterful circular Ox-Herding murals that adorns the main hall.

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A look around the interior of the main hall.

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The guardian mural that hangs in the main hall.

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As well as a vibrant Sanshin mural.

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An intricate Gwanseeum-bosal mural.

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A seated Jijang-bosal mural.

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And a Chilseong mural.

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The view in through the out door.

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Some of the neighbouring temple buildings.

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The amazing view from the main hall.

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A pink water lily in full bloom at the temple.

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As well as a vibrant purple water lily.

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