A look at the three tier stone pagoda that dates back to 863, as well as the main hall in the background, at Biroam Hermitage in Daegu, Gyeongsangbuk-do.
Hello Again Everyone!!
You first make your way towards Biroam Hermitage up a paved road for about 50 metres. This paved road merges with the Donghwasa Temple parking lot, so it’s a pretty easy location to find.
Biroam Hermitage is compactly filled with various buildings on the hermitage grounds. Unfortunately, the only hall that you can enter is the main hall. The main hall itself is painted in the traditional Dancheong colours. As for the interior, and resting on the main altar, is a well preserved stone statue of Birojana-bul (The Buddha of Cosmic Energy). This stone statue dates back to around 863 A.D., and it’s the only object of worship inside the rather small hall. This statue of Birojana-bul is a good example of the popular Buddha during the ninth century. It’s believed that this specific statue was created to commemorate King Minae (r.838-839) during the reign of King Gyeongmun (r.861-875). Around the Buddha’s entire body is an equally well preserved nimbus. Fortunately for us, they’ve striped the statue of its garish white paint and returned it to its natural stone colour.
Out in front of the main hall is a newer looking stone lantern. And it’s in front of this stone lantern that you can see the three storied stone pagoda. This stone pagoda dates back to around 863, much like the stone statue of Birojana-bul inside the Daejeokgwang-jeon. And while it’s simple in design; for its age, it’s well preserved.
All the other buildings or halls are off-limits to temple travelers. In front of the main hall, and the pagoda, are the monks’ quarters. And to the immediate right of the main hall are the monks’ facilities like the kitchen.
HOW TO GET THERE: From the Seobu (west) Intercity Bus Terminal in Daegu, you’ll need to take the subway, line 1, that heads towards Anshim and get off at Ahyanggyo Station. From here, take Express Bus #1. The ride will take you about 35 minutes, and it brings you right to Donghwasa Temple. Past the main gate, and up the temple road, you’ll get to the temple parking lot. From the temple parking lot, instead of heading straight towards Donghwasa Temple, hang a right towards a paved pathway. There are a couple small signs pointing you towards Biroam Hermitage.
OVERALL RATING: 4/10. After visiting Donghwasa Temple, you’ll be a bit underwhelmed by Biroam Hermitage. However, with that being said, there are a couple reasons why you should visit this small hermitage. The first reason is to see the well-preserved statue of Birojana-bul inside the main hall. And the second reason is to see the three tier pagoda inside the temple courtyard. Both objects date back to 863 A.D., and they are a good glimpse into Korea’s past.
The road that leads to Biroam Hermitage.
The hermitage courtyard.
A look at the three tier stone pagoda that dates back to 863 A.D.
The main hall at Biroam Hermitage.
A cute little stone ornament outside the main hall.
A look inside the main hall at the stone Birojana-bul statue that dates back to around 863 A.D.
The view from the main hall out onto the hermitage.
One last look at the ancient pagoda before heading home.