Daeyulsa Temple – 대율사 (Gunwi, Gyeongsangbuk-do)

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The shrine that houses the ancient Buddha statue at Daeyulsa Temple in Gunwi, Gyeongsangbuk-do.

Hello Again Everyone!!

Daeyulsa Temple is a little known temple that is small in size and is reached up a narrow alleyway-type road. In fact, I didn’t even notice it the first time I passed it. But once you finally do notice the gate for the temple with its metal manja across the gate, and the small entranceway that allows you access to Daeyulsa Temple, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by what awaits you.

The first thing to greet you is a row of monks’ dorms to the left. And to the right is a house. A little further in, and you’ll notice the main highlight, by far, to this diminutive little temple. Standing out in front of the main hall, and under its own little protective shrine hall, is the Silla Kingdom (57 B.C. – 935 A.D.) statue of the Buddha. It stands 2.65 metres in height and is a bit strange. The right hand shows the mudra of boundless mercy, while the left hand is placed over the chest. The statue looks stiff in appearance with most of its facial features washed away by the passage of time.

To the left of the ancient Buddha is the Sanshin-gak, which is just barely squeezed inside the stone fence confines of the temple. Inside rests a painting of Sanshin (The Mountain Spirit) with a cartoonish looking tiger by his side and a dongja (assistant) offering him peaches.

Just behind these two shrine halls is the smaller-looking main hall. The concrete walls are adorned with fading Shimu-do, Ox-Herding, murals. As for the interior, and resting on the main altar, are a triad of statues centred by Seokgamoni-bul (The Historical Buddha). He’s joined on either side by Bohyun-bosal (The Bodhisattva of Power) and Munsu-bosal (The Bodhisattva of Wisdom). To the far left is a mural dedicated to Chilseong (The Seven Stars), while to the right hangs a painting of Jijang-bosal (The Bodhisattva of the Afterlife). In front of this painting is a slim-looking statue of a green haired Jijang-bosal.

HOW TO GET THERE: There are two buses that go to Daeyulsa Temple from the Gunwi Intercity Bus Terminal. The first is the Gunwi to Dundeok bus, while the other is the Gunwi to 2nd Seokuram bus. In either case, you’ll need to take the bus for 16 stops and get off at the Daeyul 2 Ri stop. From this stop, you’ll need to walk eight minutes to the west to get to Daeyulsa Temple.

OVERALL RATING: 4/10. This temple won’t blow you away with all the halls it offers. Instead, the main feature to Daeyulsa Temple is the Silla-era stone statue of the Buddha. There are a couple other features like the nice Sanshin painting and the Jijang-bosal statue, but the real reason anyone comes to this temple is to see the ancient Buddhist statue.

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The entrance to Daeyulsa Temple.

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The shrine and main hall at the temple.

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A look at the main highlight to this temple: the Silla-era Buddha.

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A closer look at the ancient Buddha.

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The Sanshin mural inside the Sanshin-gak, which is situated to the left of the shrine for the ancient Buddha.

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A look at the shrine, as you make your way towards the main hall.

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A look along the main altar inside the main hall at Daeyulsa Temple.

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To the far right is this statue of Jijang-bosal.

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The blue fading Ox-Herding murals.

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A look across the back side of the main hall at some more of the Ox-Herding murals.

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A look at the fish wind-chime and surrounding mountains under a gorgeous blue sky.

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Some purple flowers in full bloom along the country road.

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