Geumryunsa Temple – 금륜사 (Yangsan, Gyeongsangnam-do)

A look at Geumryunsa Temple from Mt. Geumjeongsan in Yangsan, Gyeongsangnam-do.

Hello Again Everyone!!

Geumryunsa Temple is located in Yangsan, Gyeongsangnam-do on the very northern part of the very large Mt. Geumjeongsan (801.5m). The temple rests just east of Janggun-bong Peak, which stands at 727 metres.

All in and around the temple, as you make your way towards the temple, is a new apartment complex that’s in development. Because of this, a lot of the old sign markers that point towards Geumryunsa Temple are now removed. However, from the highway, you can see Geumryunsa Temple half-way up the mountain. And once you clear the apartment development, you’ll come to a part of the forested mountain. From here, follow the signs and the road that lead up towards the temple.

As you approach the ever increasing elevation, and the temple in the process, you’ll find the front façade at Geumryunsa Temple. The first floor of the temple building is the visitors’ centre and kitchen. To the far right, you’ll notice a newly built stone shrine dedicated to Mireuk-bul (The Future Buddha). The seated statue is fronted by a pair of lion-based lanterns that are reminiscent of the ones at Beopjusa Temple.

It’s from this direction that you’ll find a flight of stairs that leads up to the second story of the main hall. It’s here that you’ll find the place where devotees worship. It’s also from this vantage point that you get an amazing view outwards towards the valley down below. The exterior walls to the main hall are adorned with beautiful Palsang-do murals from the Historical Buddha’s life. Also, the main hall is backed by a lush bamboo forest that runs up against the main hall’s tiled roof.

Stepping inside the main hall, you’ll notice a triad of statues on the main altar. Seated in the center is a statue of Amita-bul (The Buddha of the Western Paradise). To the left sits Jijang-bosal (The Bodhisattva of the Afterlife) and to the right sits Gwanseeum-bosal (The Bodhisattva of Compassion). Hanging on the far right wall is a large Shinjung Taenghwa (guardian mural). And as you enter and exit the main hall, you’ll see a skillfully embroidered image of a colour Gwanseeum-bosal and accompanying dragon.

But what really makes Geumryunsa Temple stand out are the pair of mountainside altars that rest to the east and south of the temple grounds. From the temple parking lot, you can follow a relatively easy trail that continues for about 100 metres towards a stone altar and standing stone statue of Gwanseeum-bosal. This wooden decked area has some amazing views of the city of Yangsan to the north and Busan to the south; also with an amazing view of both with a framed Geumryunsa Temple in the background.

Following this trail, or a trail head to the left rear of the main hall, you’ll go an additional 400 metres until you arrive at the second mountainside shrine: Eundong-gul cave. In total, there are three shrines, two of which are cave shrines. Once again, you’ll find a three metre tall standing stone statue dedicated to Gwanseeum-bosal, as well as a smaller stone statue of Yongwang (The Dragon King). To the right of these two statues is a cave that is fronted by a glass enclosure. Resting inside this smaller cave is a multi-armed statue of Gwanseeum-bosal and Amita-bul. The larger of the two caves is slightly to the right on a ledge. Housed inside this cave is a painting dedicated to Sanshin (The Mountain Spirit).

HOW TO GET THERE: From the Yangsan Intercity Bus Terminal, you need to take Bus #17 or #17A.  You’ll need to take this bus for 9 stops, or 17 minutes. You’ll need to get off at the Dongmyun Chodeung Hakyo (elementary school) stop. From where the bus drops you off, you’ll need to walk 20 minutes towards Mt. Geumjeongsan and the temple.

OVERALL RATING: 6/10. Geumryunsa Temple is beautifully situated on Mt. Geumjeongsan. While the temple hall and statues in and around the temple grounds are nice, it’s the accompanying mountainside shrines that makes Geumryunsa Temple a little bit different and a little more special. Also, there are just so many beautiful views of the valley down below with both Busan and Yangsan off in the distance to the north and south.

As you first approach the temple grounds.

The main hall and visitors’ centre at Geumryunsa Temple.

The newly built shrine dedicated to Mireuk-bul (The Future Buddha).

A closer look at Mireuk-bul.

And a closer look at the main hall at Geumryunsa Temple.

One of the paintings from the Palsang-do set dedicated to the Historical Buddha.

A bamboo forest to the rear of the main hall.

A look at the main altar inside the main hall with Amita-bul (The Buddha of the Western Paradise) sitting in the centre.

A better look at both Amita-bul and Jijang-bosal.

The Shinjung Taenghwa, guardian mural, that hangs to the right of the main altar.

This embroidery is dedicated to Gwanseeum-bosal.

The view from the main hall.

And a look towards a mountainside shrine.

The head of the trail that leads up to the Eundong-gul cave shrine.

The view from the starting point of the trail.

The shrine to the east of Geumryunsa Temple.

The shrine houses this beautiful statue dedicated to Gwanseeum-bosal.

And the view towards Yangsan from the beautiful mountainside shrine.

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