Haeinjeongsa Temple – 해인정사 (Saha-gu, Busan)

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The beautiful view of the Boje-ru pavilion from Haeinjeongsa Temple in Busan.

Hello Again Everyone!!

Haeinjeongsa Temple is a newly rebuilt temple that hugs Mt. Gudeoksan in Saha-gu in Busan. To get to the temple, you’ll need to ascend the steep road that leads to the temple parking lot. You’ll first pass under the high vaulted ceiling of the Boje-ru pavilion. The ceiling is painted with beautiful dragon and Biseon murals.

Finally level with the temple grounds, you’ll pass by the temple’s visiting centre and kitchen. Ascending a set of stairs, you’ll enter the main temple courtyard. As you look up at the elevated main hall, you’ll notice the bell pavilion to your back. This is the upper portion of the Boje-ru pavilion that you first passed through to gain entrance to the temple. There are some amazing views of the west-end of Busan from these heights.

As for the main hall itself, it’s adorned with some of the more unique paintings you’ll see in Korea. These golden hued murals depict various episodes from the various Buddhas and Bodhisattvas in Buddhism. As for the interior, and sitting on the main altar, are seven golden statues. The central figure is Birojana-bul (The Buddha of Cosmic Energy). He’s flanked by two large seated statues of Seokgamoni-bul (The Historical Buddha) to left and Nosana-bul (The Perfect Body Buddha) to the right.

To the left of the main hall is the Myeongbu-jeon. The exterior walls are adorned with various murals, but none as frightening as the judgment murals of Agwi and Jijang-bosal (The Bodhisattva of the Afterlife) on the left side of the hall. The interior of the hall is rather cavernous, and plain, because there is only a golden haired statue of Jijang-bosal with a golden scroll in his hand. Of note, the Ten Kings of the Underworld, which are so common in this type of hall, are absent.

And to the right of the main hall, and joined by the monks’ dorms to the extreme right, is the Gwaneeum-jeon. All of the exterior walls are adorned with various murals of Gwanseeum-bosal (The Bodhisattva of Compassion). There are various incarnations of the 33 forms that this Bodhisattva can appear like to people. As for the main altar inside the Gwaneeum-jeon, and much like the Myeongbu-jeon, the only thing taking up residence inside this hall is a large golden statue of Gwanseeum-bosal.

The only other two shrine halls left to see at the temple are to the left of the main temple grounds. These halls are some of the most underwhelming halls dedicated to Yongwang (The Dragon King) and Sanshin (The Mountain Spirit) that you’ll see in all of Korea, especially after seeing the newly constructed halls in the main temple courtyard. These Korean War-looking bunkers house a statue of Yongwang and a painting of Sanshin in their respective shrine halls. If you don’t feel like being depressed, simply pass by these halls after visiting the three buildings in the main temple courtyard.

HOW TO GET THERE: To get to Haeinjeongsa Temple, you’ll first need to get to Goejeong Subway Station #105 on line one in Busan. From there, you should take a taxi, because the roads that lead up to the temple are confusing and steep. It should only cost you 2,800 won.

OVERALL RATING: 7/10. This temple is a tough one to rate. It’s not the easiest to get to and it has the two dilapidated buildings dedicated to the two shaman deities to the side of the main temple grounds. However, the newly constructed buildings dedicated to Jijang-bosal and Gwanseeum-bosal, as well as the main hall, largely make up for most short-comings. Also, the spectacular views of western Busan are pretty amazing. So a mixed bag of sorts will greet you at Haeinjeongsa Temple.

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The steep road that leads up towards the temple.

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A look through the Boje-ru pavilion.

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And a look up at the bell pavilion with a beautiful blue sky surrounding it.

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A look inside the bell pavilion.

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The amazing view of western Busan from the Boje-ru pavilion.

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The main hall and Myeongbu-jeon at Haeinjeongsa Temple.

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The golden paintings that adorn the main hall that depict Buddhas and Bodhisattvas.

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A look inside the main hall at the elaborate main altar.

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One of the paintings that adorns the exterior walls of the Myeongbu-jeon.

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And inside the Myeongbu-jeon is a solitary statue of Jijang-bosal.

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To the right of the main hall is the Gwaneeum-jeon.

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Just one of the beautiful paintings of Gwanseeum-bosal that adorns the hall’s walls.

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The golden statue of Gwanseeum-bosal that sits all alone inside the Gwaneeum-jeon.

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The amazing view of both Haeinjeongsa Temple and Busan down below.

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The bomb-shelter-like Sanshin-gak.

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The rather plain looking painting of Sanshin inside the Sanshin-gak.

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