Daejeonsa Temple – 대전사 (Cheongsong, Gyeongsangbuk-do)

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The beautiful and scenic Daejeonsa Temple in Cheongsong, Gyeongsangbuk-do.

Hello Again Everyone!!

On the southwest side of Juwangsan National Park outside of Cheongsong, Gyeongsangbuk-do is the extremely scenic Daejeonsa Temple. Daejeonsa Temple was first established in 672 A.D. by the famed monk Uisang-daesa. The name of the temple cryptically refers to the son of King Ju: Daejeondogun. According to legend, King Ju was a Chinese rebel that retreated to Mt. Juwangsan where he hid and died.

After paying your entry fee at the Juwangsan National Park, you’ll make your way towards Daejeonsa Temple next to the wandering Jubang-cheon stream. Along the way you’ll pass by a collection of restaurants and souvenir stores. Finally, you’ll arrive at the temple entry gate where you’ll have to pay an additional 2,800 won to enter Daejeonsa Temple.

Straight ahead, and framed by the rounded peaks of Mt. Juwangsan, is the Bogwang-jeon main hall. This hall dates back to 1672 after the original was destroyed during the Imjin War (1592-98). Inside this unadorned exterior is a triad of statues centred by Birojana-bul (The Buddha of Cosmic Energy). He is joined by what looks to be Munsu-bosal (The Bodhisattva of Wisdom) and Bohyeon-bosal (The Bodhisattva of Power). And out in front of the Bogwang-jeon Hall is a reconstructed three tier pagoda with ancient guardians edged into its base.

To the left of the main hall stands the Gwaneum-jeon Hall. The exterior walls to this hall are painted with various incarnations of Gwanseeum-bosal (The Bodhisattva of Compassion). They are all masterful in their execution. Stepping inside this hall, you’ll be greeted by the multi-armed and headed Gwanseeum-bosal on the main altar. She’s joined by Yongwang (The Dragon King) to the left. Interestingly, there are two circles of orange lotuses shaped by crystal to either side of the main altar with a golden statue of Gwanseeum-bosal in the centre.

And to the right of the Bogwang-jeon main hall are two additional shrine halls. The first, and smaller of the two, is the uniquely shaped Sanshin-gak. Instead of having the Sanshin (Mountain Spirit) mural facing directly towards you as you enter, the painting is to the far left in an otherwise unoccupied shaman shrine hall. As for the painting itself, it’s newer in composition and there’s a snickering tiger to the left of Sanshin.

The final shrine hall that visitors can explore is the Myeongbu-jeon Hall to the right of the Sanshin-gak. Inside this shrine hall, and resting on the main altar, is a golden capped Jijang-bosal (The Bodhisattva of the Afterlife). This statue is then backed by an older mural of the Bodhisattva of the Afterlife. Additionally, Jijang-bosal is surrounded on both sides by ten smaller sized statues of the Ten Kings of the Underworld.

After visiting all the shrine halls at Daejeonsa Temple, take the time to enjoy the beauty at Juwangsan National Park. There are two additional hermitages, Juwangam Hermitage and Baekryeonam Hermitage, that can be enjoyed in close proximity to Daejeonsa Temple, as well.

Admission to the temple is 2,800 won.

HOW TO GET THERE: From the Juwangsan Bus Terminal, you can simply walk to Daejeonsa Temple. It’s about an 800 metre walk to get to the temple.

OVERALL RATING: 7.5/10. Depending on just how much of Juwangsan National Park you want to explore, this overall rating can go a lot higher; however, with just Daejeonsa Temple in mind, it gets the rating it does. Daejeonsa Temple takes up residence in one of the most beautiful National Parks in Korea. With this as a backdrop, the refined paintings housed throughout the Gwanseum-jeon Hall as well as the snickering tiger in the Sanshin mural make Daejeonsa Temple a must see especially for a nice little retreat away from a hectic life.

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A frozen Jubang-cheon stream out in front of Daejeonsa Temple.

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The towering peaks of Mt. Juwangsan off in the distance.

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A part of the Taebaeksan mountain range.

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The beautifully framed Daejeonsa Temple.

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The ancient base to the three tier pagoda out in front of the Bogwang-jeon main hall.

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A look inside the Myeongbu-jeon Hall.

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As well as a look at the uniquely designed Sanshin-gak.

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Sanshin with a snickering tiger at his side.

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Both Mt. Juwangsan and the Gwaneum-jeon Hall together.

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A closer look at the Gwaneum-jeon Hall.

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One of the amazing paintings that adorns the exterior walls to the Gwaneum-jeon Hall.

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A look inside the Gwaneum-jeon Hall at Gwanseeum-bosal.

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With Yongwang to her side.

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One of the beautiful paintings that’s painted on one of the interior walls of the Gwaneum-jeon Hall.

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