The view of Mt. Gubongsan from behind the main hall at Bogyeongsa Temple in Busan.
Hello Again Everyone!!
So I continued to explore the Seodaeshin-dong part of Busan, which also includes the Busan Station area. This time, I looked around a part of the city that I last explored in 2005. This time, I re-visited Bogyeongsa Temple on Mt. Gubongsan.
Bogyeongsa Temple is situated on the highest part of Mt. Gubongsan on the south side. You get to the temple through a trail that leads past Hwaeomsa Temple. The hike is a very easy 200 metres up a forested trail. Along the way, you get some beautifully shrouded pictures of the Busan port and harbour.
Finally arriving at the temple, and past the orange bamboo railings that line the path, you’ll be greeted by a beautiful green lawn. Bogyeongsa Temple is a small temple. There are only two buildings on the temple grounds: the monks’ dorms and the main hall.
Standing in front of the modern-looking main hall is a five-tier stone pagoda. It is beautifully adorned around the base with the Eight Dharma Protectors. The plainly painted exterior walls of the main hall are made up for by the paintings inside the hall. Sitting on the main altar sits Seokgamoni-bul (The Historical Buddha). He’s joined on either side by Munsu-bosal (The Bodhisattva of Wisdom) and Bohyun-bosal (The Bodhisattva of Power). To the immediate left of the altar statues are three paintings. The first is an original Nahan (The Historical Disciples of the Buddha) painting. It is joined to the left by a Jijang-bosal (The Bodhisatttva of the Afterlife) painting, as well as a painting of the Dragon Ship of Wisdom. To the right of the central main altar is a very ornate painting of Gwanseeum-bosal (The Bodhisattva of Compassion) and a painting of Chilseong (The Seven Stars) next to it. The final painting inside the main hall is the guardian mural (Shinjung Taenghwa).
It’s next to the guardian mural, and if you look close enough, that you’ll notice a tiny crack of a door next to this mural. It’s through this door that you’ll enter the Samseong-gak shaman shrine hall. You can also enter this hall, when looking directly at the hall from the exterior, from the far right door. Inside this hall hang three beautiful murals of shaman deities. In the centre hangs an attractive Sanshin (The Mountain Spirit) mural, as well as a statue. To the left is a statue and mural of Dokseong (The Recluse). And to the right is plain painting of Yongwang (The Dragon King), as well as an eye-popping statue of Yongwang.
HOW TO GET THERE: To get to Bogyeongsa Temple, you’ll first need to make your way to Choryang Subway Station, on the first line, stop #114. From this subway station, exit out exit #8. You’ll need to take a taxi, which should take about 8 minutes (or 1.5 k.m.). And the taxi ride should cost you under 3,000 won. Ask to go to Wolbongsa Temple. From this temple, you’ll notice a mountain trail to the right of Wolbongsa Temple. Take this trail for 200 metres until you get to Bogyeongsa Temple. You can do that, or walk, which should take about 25 minutes straight up towards Mt. Gubongsan. Head towards Busan Middle School to help you towards the temple. But by walking, it might be a lot more difficult to find Bogyeongsa Temple.
OVERALL RATING: 3.5/10. While nothing special in its own rights, Bogyeongsa Temple in combination with the ten other temples in the area make for a nice afternoon excursion. In fact, this is how I first found it. The two main highlights to the temple are the paintings inside the main hall and the statue of Yongwang inside the Samseong-gak.
The trail that leads up to Bogyeongsa Temple.
The former gate that once led into Hwaeomsa Temple.
The neighbouring Hwaeomsa Temple (it’s not clear if it’s still open or not).
The view of Busan Station down below from the trail that leads up to Bogyeongsa Temple.
The orange lined bamboo path that first welcomes you to the temple.
The modern-looking main hall with the five-tier pagoda out in front of it.
The main altar inside the Daeung-jeon.
A look to the left at the three beautiful paintings inside the main hall.
And a look to the right at the three others inside the main hall.
The tiny sliver of a door next to the guardian mural.
The altar inside the Samseong-gak.
One last look before I was onto my next temple adventure.