Jangyusa Temple – 장유사 (Gimhae, Gyeongsangnam-do)

CSC_2474The view of the main hall and Samseong-gak hall at Jangyusa Temple in Gimhae, Gyeongsangnam-do.

Hello Again Everyone!!

Jangyusa Temple is named after the famous monk Jangyu. Jangyu just so happened to be the brother of Queen Heo, who just so happened to be the wife of King Suro. Jangyu is largely credited with spreading Buddhism throughout the Gaya Kingdom (42 A.D. – 562 A.D.).

Located on the west side of Gimhae, and looking new in appearance, Jangyusa Temple has a long and rich history. You first approach the temple up a very scenic mountainside road. While you’re at the base of the mountain, you’ll see the beautiful Jangyu waterfall. Unfortunately, when I visited the temple, the waterfall was running dry.

Having finally arrived at the temple parking lot, you’ll first be greeted by a very large golden statue of Jijang-bosal (The Bodhisattva of the Afterlife). He’s situated on an elevated shrine where people can pray. He’s joined on either side by six life-size statues of himself in granite.

To the left of this shrine, and after you’ve passed by the trail head that takes a kilometer to get to the top of the mountain, is the Cheonwangmun Gate. With fading paintings of Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, and Biseon around its exterior walls, the second floor of this structure acts as the temple’s bell pavilion. On the first floor are the four Heavenly Kings. Very unique, and somewhat disproportionate in design, the four Heavenly Kings, with their eyes bulging, protect the temple from evil spirits. As for the second floor of this structure, it houses all the percussion instructions for daily services.

Having passed through the Cheonwangmun Gate, you’ll enter into the temple courtyard. This spacious, but lesser populated, courtyard houses four temple structures. To the far left is a new temple building that’s just under construction. Next to this hall are the monks’ facilities like the kitchen and dorms. It’s also from this vantage point that you can see some beautiful views of the city of Gimhae down below in the rolling folds of the mountains.

To the right of these buildings is the large main hall. Surrounding the exterior walls are the fading Shimu-do, Ox-Herding, murals. And crowning the hall is a broken black dragon whose ceramic spine runs the entire length of the roof. As for the interior, and as you first enter the main hall, you’ll see a skillfully executed Shinjung Taenghwa painting. Additionally, one of the first things you’ll notice is that the interior is filled with smaller sized statues of Jijang-bosal. As for the main altar, and sitting front and centre, is Seokgamoni-bul (The Historical Buddha). He’s joined on either side by Munsu-bosal (The Bodhisattva of Wisdom) and Bohyun-bosal (The Bodhisattva of Power). And to the left is a shrine for the dead.

Between both the main hall and the monks’ quarters is the modern looking Samseong-gak. The front façade of the building is adorned with the four Heavenly Kings. And the building itself is adorned with various murals like a tiger and deer. As for the interior, and sitting in the centre of the three shaman paintings is a large, elaborate painting of Chilseong. It’s one of the best that I’ve seen in Korea. To the right is a typical Sanshin (Mountain Spirit) painting. And to the left is a beautiful painting dedicated to Dokseong (The Recluse), who sits under a bright setting sun. The final painting in the hall is to the far right and it’s of Jangyu. I’ve only ever seen a painting of Jangyu inside a hall at the neighbouring Buljosa Temple in Gimhae.

The final area of interest at the temple is situated behind the main hall. Situated up a slight embankment is a budo that houses the remains of Jangyu. The budo is situated under a beautiful red pine and it’s joined by other budos, as well. So don’t leave this hidden area off your things to see at the temple.

HOW TO GET THERE: With there being very little public transportation in this newer part of western Gimhae, it’s virtually impossible to get to Jangyusa Temple without a car. So with that being said, unless you have a car and a good GPS system, you’ll find it extremely hard to find Jangyusa Temple in Gimhae, Gyeongsangnam-do.


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OVERALL RATING: 6.5/10. Jangyusa Temple is rather remotely situated; however, the views are part of what make up for this isolation. Additionally, the large and beautiful Chilseong painting, as well as the Jangyu painting and his remains make this temple a good little day trip especially if you pack a picnic and enjoy it around the neighbouring waterfall (hopefully, it’ll have water).

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The Cheonwangmun Gate and the Bell Pavilion with the golden Jijang-bosal (The Bodhisattva of Afterlife).

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The triad of turtle-based steles that welcome you to the temple.

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The largest Jijang-bosal statue that I’ve seen that sits in the centre of the outdoor shrine.

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A closer look at Jijang-bosal.

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Two, of the four, Cheonwang (Heavenly Kings) inside the entrance gate.

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A look around the courtyard at Jangyusa Temple with the main hall to the right, the monk quarters to the left, and the Samseong-gak shrine hall above that.

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The view from Jangyusa Temple.

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A better look at the main hall at Jangyusa Temple.

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A great look at the intricate artwork along the main hall.

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The stunning floral latticework and sinister Nathwi that adorn the main hall at Jangyusa Temple.

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A look inside the main hall at the main altar to the left.

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A closer look at the guardian mural inside the main hall.

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The pathway that leads up to the budo that houses the sari (earthly remains) of the monk, Jangyu.

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A look at the Jangyu budo with the main hall in the background.

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A look up at the Samseong-gak shaman shrine hall.

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The stunning, and massive, Chilseong (Seven Stars) mural.

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The right corner inside the Samseong-gak shaman shrine hall with Sanshin (The Mountain Spirit) to the left and a mural of Jangyu to the right

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The waterless waterfall at Jangyu.

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