Dongjin-bosal from the guardian mural at Daeilam Hermitage in Yangsan, Gyeongsangnam-do.
Hello Again Everyone!!
Located on the northern side of the rather diminutive Mt. Jeungsan (133m) in Yangsan, Gyeongsangnam-do is Daeilam Hermitage (a hermitage after my own heart). While small in size, the hermitage more than makes up for this with its beautiful Buddhist artwork.
You make your way towards Daeilam Hermitage down a country road and up the hermitage’s twisting driveway. When you do finally arrive on the outskirts of the hermitage, you’ll be greeted by a modern home that also acts as the monks’ dorms. It’s beyond this that you’ll see a pair of shrine halls. Out in front of the monks’ dorms is a slender five-tier stone pagoda. It’s next to this pagoda, and through the shrubs, that you’ll find one of the scariest embodiments of Gwanseeum-bosal (The Bodhisattva of Compassion) in Korea.
The first of the two hermitage shrine halls is the Wontong-jeon main hall at Daeilam Hermitage. Adorning the exterior walls to this hall are ten exquisite renderings of the Ox-Herding murals. Stepping inside the main hall, and sitting all alone on the main altar, is Gwanseeum-bosal. She sits comfortably on a plush red pillow. On the far left wall, and painted directly on the wall, is a masterful Munsu-bosal (The Bodhisattva of Wisdom) mural. This mural is then joined on the left side by an intricate guardian mural. To the right of the main altar is an equally elaborate mural dedicated to Jijang-bosal (The Bodhisattva of the Afterlife). This mural is then joined by a mural painted on the main hall’s wall of an all-white Gwanseeum-bosal.
To the right of the Wontong-jeon main hall is the temple’s Samseong-gak shaman shrine hall. And the Samseong-gak shaman shrine hall at Daeilam Hermitage has a bit of a twist. Joining the beautiful murals dedicated to Sanshin (The Mountain Spirit), Dokseong (The Lonely Saint), and Chilseong (The Seven Stars) are a pair of murals on the far left wall dedicated to King Suro and his wife, Queen Heo.
HOW TO GET THERE: After exiting Jeungsan Subway Station (stop #240) through exit #1, head straight down the main road. Head in this direction for about 500 to 600 metres until you meet the first road to your left. Head down this road for about 400 metres until you see the sign for Daeilam Hermitage to your right. Follow the signs the rest of the way up to the hillside hermitage.
OVERALL RATING: 4/10. While this hermitage has seen better days, there are numerous paintings at Daeilam Hermitage to keep a temple adventurer interested. Such paintings as the main hall guardian mural and the murals of King Suro and Queen Heo in the Samseong-gak are something to keep an eye out for when visiting this little known hermitage. Besides the paintings, what’s not to love about the name of this hermitage?!?
The slender five-tier pagoda that greets you at Daeilam Hermitage.
The not so medicinal looking hermitage water with a mural of Yaksayore-bul (The Medicine Buddha) backing the spring.
One of the Ox-Herding murals that adorns the exterior walls to the Wontong-jeon Hall.
The main altar inside the Wontong-jeon hall with Gwanseeum-bosal front and centre.
A mural of Munsu-bosal that adorns the far left interior wall.
Directly to the left of the main altar is this amazing guardian mural.
The Jijang-bosal mural to the right of the main altar.
And the all-white Gwanseeum-bosal that adorns the far right interior wall to the main hall.
The Samseong-gak shaman shrine hall at Daeilam Hermitage.
The mural of Sanshin that hangs inside the Samseong-gak.
The mural of King Suro that hangs on the far left wall.
King Suro is joined by his wife, Queen Heo.
One of the scariest Gwanseeum-bosal statues I’ve seen in Korea.