Jukrimsa Temple – 죽림사 (Yeongcheon, Gyeongsangbuk-do)

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One of the beautiful stupas at the entry of Jukrimsa Temple in Yeongcheon, Gyeongsangbuk-do.

Hello Again Everyone!!

Just below Mt. Yubongsan, and west of the Geumho River, is Jukrimsa Temple in Yeongcheon, Gyeongsangbuk-do. About a kilometre and a half up a mountainside road lies Jukrimsa Temple. The first thing to greet you at the temple is the Iljumun Gate, which has a pair of chubby pillars at its base.

A little further up the road, but before you arrive at the temple grounds, you’ll notice an ornate stupa to your right. This stupa is a near replica of the one at Seonamsa Temple on Mt. Baekyangsan in Busan. With ornate ornamental dragons, tigers, and Biseon, as well as a decorative Jijang-bosal (The Bodhisattva of the Afterlife) at the entrance of the stupa, this stupa is probably the most beautiful piece of funeral stone masonry in all of Korea. The pair of large sized stupas are joined by smaller sized stupas.

With the slight incline of the mountain elevation kicking in, you’ll finally near the outskirts of the temple courtyard. Passing under the Boje-ru Pavilion, which is beautifully adorned during Buddha’s birthday, the pavilion is surrounded on all sides by rose bushes, Japanese maples, and shrubs.

Stepping into the temple courtyard, a three-tier stone pagoda welcomes you to Jukrimsa Temple’s courtyard. The monks’ dorms lie to the left, while the main hall stands straight ahead of you. In front of the main hall are a collection of granite statues. To the far right is a triad statue centred by Amita-bul (The Buddha of the Western Paradise). To the far left are two more statues. The first is the “hear no evil, speak no evil, and see no evil,” motif statue; while the other statue is a graceful granite statue dedicated to Gwanseeum-bosal (The Bodhisattva of Compassion).

Surrounding the main hall’s exterior walls are a collection of simple Palsang-do murals. Inside the hall, 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 Jijang-bosal and Gwanseeum-bosal. There are a few accompanying murals housed inside the main hall like the guardian mural that hangs on the left wall, as well as a red mural dedicated to Jijang-bosal that hangs on the right wall. Interestingly, and just to the left of the Bodhisattva of the Afterlife, there are a collection of pictures of former presidents like Park Chung Hee (and his wife), and Roh Moo Hyun.

To the left of the main hall are two shrine halls that visitors can enjoy while exploring Jukrimsa Temple. The first to the immediate left of the main hall is the Samseong-gak shaman shrine hall. Of the three shaman murals that include Chilseong (The Seven Stars) and Dokseong (The Lonely Saint), it’s the tiger-riding Sanshin mural that stands above the others for its originality.

The other hall at Jukrimsa Temple is the Nahan-jeon. The white-clothed stone statues of the Nahan are joined on the main altar by Seokgamoni-bul. Also, the stone statues are backed by beautiful murals of the Historical Disciples of the Buddha.

HOW TO GET THERE: There is no direct bus that will take you to Jukrimsa Temple in Yeongcheon, Gyeongsangbuk-do. So the most direct way to get to Jukrimsa Temple is to take a taxi from Yeongcheon Intercity Bus Terminal. The ride should last about 25 minutes and cost about 7,200 won.

OVERALL RATING: 6.5/10. The main highlight at Jukrimsa Temple are the two ornate stupas at the entry of the temple. The beautiful grounds are filled with masterful statues of Gwanseeum-bosal and Amita-bul. And to top it off, you can also enjoy all the murals housed inside both the Nahan-jeon and the Samseong-gak at Jukrimsa Temple in Yeongcheon, Gyeongsangbuk-do.

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The chubby pillared Iljumun Gate at Jukrimsa Temple.

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A look towards a pair of stupas.

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A closer look at one of the ornate stupas.

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Adorning the door on the stupa is this image of Jijang-bosal.

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Some of the tiger reliefs on the stupa.

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As well as a decorative dragon.

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A look up towards the Boje-ru Pavilion at Jukrimsa Temple.

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The temple courtyard in preparation for Buddha’s birthday.

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The main hall at Jukrimsa Temple.

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The statue of Gwanseeum-bosal.

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The chubby “hear no evil, see no evil, and speak no evil” statues.

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One of the Palsang-do murals that adorns the exterior walls of the main hall.

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Inside the main hall at Jukrimsa Temple.

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The view of the grassy temple courtyard at Jukrimsa Temple.

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A look up towards the Samseong-gak.

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A look inside the Samseong-gak; yes, with a ladder in it.

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A better look at the tiger-riding Sanshin mural.

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The Nahan-jeon at Jukrimsa Temple.

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And a look inside the Nahan-jeon.

Jukrimsa Temple – 죽림사 (Cheongdo, Gyeongsangbuk-do)

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The view from the main hall at Jukrimsa Temple in Cheongdo, Gyeongsangbuk-do.

Hello Again Everyone!!

During the spring, I made a day trip to the city of Cheongdo, Gyeongsangbuk-do and Jukrimsa Temple was the last of the three temples I had set out for myself. While smaller in size than the other two, it certainly had highlights of its own.

You first approach Jukrimsa Temple up one of the stranger roads with spray paint scrawled all over abandoned buildings pointing you in the right direction. When you first arrive in the temple parking lot, you’ll have to make your way past the temple’s kitchen. Once you pass by this building, which kind of screens the temple courtyard, you’ll finally be able to see the main hall. The exterior walls to this diminutive main hall are painted with some fading, but beautiful, Palsang-do murals. Above these, and above the entrances, are murals dedicated to both Munsu-bosal (The Bodhisattva of Wisdom) and Bohyun-bosal (The Bodhisattva of Power).

As you enter the main hall, you’ll be greeted by some of the smaller statues in a main hall in all of Korea. Seated in the centre is a tiny statue of Amita-bul (The Buddha of the Western Paradise). He’s joined on either side by two even smaller sized statues of Gwanseeum-bosal (The Bodhisattva of Compassion) and Daesaeji-bosal (The Power and Wisdom for Amita-bul). On the far left wall is a highly original mural of the Ten Kings of the Underworld. I can honestly say, I’ve never seen anything like it. It’s joined to the right by a mural dedicated to Jijang-bosal (The Bodhisattva of the Afterlife). And to the far right is a masterful, yet smaller in size, guardian mural.

Out in front of the main hall is a two metre tall, five tier, stone pagoda. Between the main hall and the temple’s kitchen is a stone shrine dedicated to Yongwang (The Dragon King). The nuns’ quarters are the row of buildings to the far left in the temple courtyard.

Between the main hall and the nuns’ quarters, there’s a set of stone stairs that leads to an upper courtyard that houses two more temple halls. The first, and much longer, temple hall is the Samseong-gak shaman shrine hall. Out in front of this building were some beautiful wild daisies. The exterior walls to this hall are painted with Shimu-do, Ox-Herding, murals. As for inside, and sitting in the middle of the set of three, is a rather long Chilseong (The Seven Stars) mural. To the right hangs a painting of Dokseong (The Lonely Saint) and to the right is one of the more unique seated murals dedicated to Yongwang (The Dragon King). He’s without both his angry beard and eyebrows. He actually looks quite pleasant.

To the left of the Samseong-gak shaman shrine hall is the Sanshin-gak. Inside this smaller sized hall hangs a masterful portrait of Sanshin (The Mountain Spirit). Rather uniquely, and as you make your way back to the parking lot, there are some wild poppies growing there if you missed them the first time around. I say uniquely, because as far as I know, they are illegal to grow in Korea. Either way, the bright orange poppies are something to keep an eye out for, especially in the late spring and early summer months.

HOW TO GET THERE: From the Cheongdo train station, you’ll need to take a taxi  to Jukrimsa Temple. The taxi ride will last 7.5 k.m., and it’ll cost you 15,000 won.

OVERALL RATING: 5/10. There are some beautiful views of northern Cheongdo from Jukrimsa Temple. In addition to the view and the rare poppies that greet you in the temple parking lot, the unique Ten Kings mural inside the main hall and the Yongwang painting inside the Samseong-gak shaman shrine hall are something to keep in mind when visiting this little traveled temple.

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 The smaller sized main hall at Jukrimsa Temple.

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 The view from the temple courtyard.

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Just one of the Palsang-do murals.

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 A look inside the main hall at the main altar with the smaller sized statues.

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 The highly unique Ten Kings of the Underworld mural.

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 The guardian mural inside the main hall.

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 The stone Yongwang shrine.

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 A look up at the Samseong-gak.

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 The rather large and long Chilseong mural.

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 The rather pleasant-looking Yongwang.

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 The Sanshin-gak at Jukrimsa Temple.

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 The masterful Sanshin mural.

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 The daisies out in front of the Samseong-gak.

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 One last look from the temple courtyard.

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And the very rare orange poppies waiting for me in the temple parking lot.