Daedeoksa Temple – 대덕사 (Dongnae, Busan)

The main hall at Daedeoksa Temple in Dongnae, Busan.

Hello Again Everyone!!

Like Geumyongam Hermitage, Daedeoksa Temple is located in a bend in the road on the other side of Mandeok Tunnel in Dongnae, Busan. And it’s scenically situated on the south-eastern slopes of Mt. Geumjeongsan (801.5 m).

Just west of Geumyongam Hermitage, and under a beautiful Iljumun Gate, you’ll find Daedeoksa Temple. The first thing to greet you, other than the temple’s facilities, are a pair of stone statues. The first, to the right, is a three metre tall statue dedicated to Gwanseeum-bosal (The Bodhisattva of Compassion). This statue is joined to the left by Podae-hwasang (The Hempen Bag).

To the left of the temple’s facilities is Daedeoksa Temple’s main courtyard. Straight ahead, and rather uniquely for a Korean temple, you’ll find the main hall unpainted. This rather large main hall is all but unadorned on its exterior all except for some beautiful wood engraved paneling. And to the right of the main hall is a large building that’s acts as the monks’ quarters.

Stepping inside the main hall, you’ll see a large stone statue of Seokgamoni-bul (The Historical Buddha). To the right is a beautiful wood engraving, and to the left is a shrine for Jijang-bosal (The Bodhisattva of the Afterlife). It’s also to the left of the main altar’s Buddha that you’ll find a collection of paintings that honour deceased monks that once took up residence at Daedeoksa Temple.

To the rear of the main hall, and to the left, follow the pathway that will lead you to the Samseong-gak shaman shrine hall. This building is the only building at the temple that is adorned with the traditional dancheong colours and murals around its exterior walls. Stepping inside this colourful hall, you’ll notice three shaman paintings hanging on the main altar. The one in the centre is a mural dedicated to Chilseong (The Seven Stars). And to the left of this mural is a painting dedicated to Sanshin (The Mountain Spirit). But it’s the emaciated depiction of Dokseong (The Lonely Saint), which hangs to the right of the Chilseong mural, that truly stands out for its originality.

HOW TO GET THERE: From the Dongnae subway stop, Line 1, subway stop #125, you’ll need to go through exit #3 to get a taxi. From this station, it’ll take 8 minutes, or 3.2 kilometres, and cost 4,300 won.

OVERALL RATING: 4/10. Daedeoksa Temple has a few original highlights like the colourless main hall, the large Seokgamoni-bul statue that sits in the main hall, and the Dokseong mural that’s hanging in the shaman shrine hall. Also, it doesn’t hurt that the grounds to the main temple courtyard has grass.

The Gwanseeum-bosal statue that greets you at the entry to the temple.
As well as this statue of Podae-Hwasang.
As you first approach the main hall at Daedeoksa Temple.
A better look at the main hall.
A closer look at one of the unpainted wood engravings that adorns the main hall.
A look to the right of the main hall at the monks’ dorms.
Inside the main hall sits this large stone statue of Seokgamoni-bul.
A beautiful wood engraving inside the main hall.
A shrine dedicated to Jijang-bosal inside the main hall.
The view that Seokgamoni-bul gets to enjoy.
The view from behind the main hall as you make your way towards the Samseong-gak.
The Samseong-gak through the shubbery.
A closer look at the shaman shrine hall.
The Chilseong mural.
The Sanshin mural.
The unique Dokseong mural.
A view of both modern and traditional Korea.

Geumyongam Hermitage – 금용암 (Dongnae, Busan)

The eerie view behind the main hall at Geumyongam Hermitage in Dongnae, Busan.

Hello Again Everyone!!

Geumyongam Hermitage is located on the southern slopes of Mt. Geumjeongsan (801.5m). The hermitage lies just east of the very busy Mandeok Tunnel on the far western part of Dongnae in central Busan.

Geumyongam Hermitage is situated up a small road after exiting the much larger and busier bend in the road along the first of Mandeok’s tunnels. The small hermitage’s road zigs and zags its way up the mountain, until you eventually come to the hermitage’s grounds. The first thing to greet you is a mature bamboo forest to your right and the hermitage’s kitchen and visitors centre to your left.

Past both, you’ll see the temple’s main hall in the elevated courtyard to the rear of the hermitage’s facilities. The exterior walls to the main hall are adorned with fading Shimu-do, Ox-Herding, murals in a blue pastel hue. Stepping inside the main hall, and sitting all alone on the main altar inside a glass enclosure, is a golden statue dedicated to Gwanseeum-bosal (The Bodhisattva of Compassion). To the right of the main altar is the hermitage’s Shinjung Taenghwa, guardian mural. And to the left is a colourful mural dedicated to Jijang-bosal (The Bodhisattva of the Afterlife). Adorning the interior of the main hall are various Buddhist motif murals like the Bodhidharma in the back left corner and a pair of painted screens that flank the main altar.

To the left rear of the main hall is a smaller sized shrine dedicated to Seokgamoni-bul (The Historical Buddha). The stone statue of the Buddha is surrounded by a beautiful nimbus. There is another shrine, but it seems to have been taken down.

To the left of this former shrine, and next to a small mountain stream, you’ll find a set of stone stairs that leads up to the temple’s Sanshin/Chilseong-gak. Interestingly, there are two separate entries to this shaman shrine hall: the one to the right is for Chilseong (The Seven Stars), while the door to the left is meant for Sanshin (The Mountain Spirit). However, once you step inside this shaman shrine hall, you’ll notice that there is also a mural dedicated to Dokseong (The Lonely Saint) hanging on the far right wall. In the centre hangs a red mural of Chilseong. And to the far left, you’ll see a rather regal image of Sanshin. The exterior walls to the Sanshin/Chilseong-gak are adorned with beautiful floral and dragon paintings.

HOW TO GET THERE: From the Dongnae subway stop, Line 1, subway stop #125, you’ll need to go through exit #3 to get a taxi. From this station, it’ll take 7 minutes, or 3 kilometres, and cost 4,100 won.

OVERALL RATING: 4/10. Geumyongam Hermitage is beautifully located. It has an eerie feel to it because of the mature trees that surround and envelop the hermitage at times. The artwork in and around the hermitage grounds are beautiful including the Sanshin mural and the Shimu-do murals.

The road that leads up to Geumyongam Hermitage.
The mature bamboo forest along the way.
The main hall at Geumyongam Hermitage.
The main altar inside the main hall with Gwanseeum-bosal seated all by herself.
The temple Shinjung Taenghwa mural.
A mural dedicated to Jijang-bosal inside the main hall.
The Bodhidharma mural that adorns one of the interior walls of the main hall.
A painted screen that also adorns one of the interior main hall walls.
Just outside the main hall at Geumyongam Hermitage.
A shrine dedicated to Seokgamoni-bul just to the rear of the main hall.
I guess this was once a shrine.
A look at the a pair of Shimu-do murals, as well as a fish wind chime and intricate latticework.
The pathway that leads up to the Sanshin/Chilseong-gak.
A better look at the Sanshin/Chilseong-gak.
This dragon mural adorns one of the exterior walls to the shaman shrine hall.
A painting of a magnolia tree in bloom that also adorns the shaman shrine hall.
The mural of Chilseong that hangs inside the shaman shrine hall.
To the right hangs this dour painting of Dokseong.
And to the left hangs this regal image of Sanshin.
The view from the Sanshin/Chilseong-gak.