• Chungcheongnam-do

    Bowonsa-ji Temple Site – 보원사지 (Seosan, Chungcheongnam-do)

    Temple Site History The Bowonsa-ji Temple Site is located in Seosan, Chungcheongnam-do in the village of Bowon to the south of Mt. Sangwangsan (309.5 m). The exact date as to when the temple was first built is unknown. However, it’s presumed to have first been built either at the end of Unified Silla (668-935 A.D.) or the early Goryeo Dynasty (918-1392). Rather interestingly, the Gilt-Bronze Standing Buddha from the Baekje Kingdom (18 B.C. – 660 A.D.) was discovered in 1968 at the temple site, and it’s now housed at the National Museum of Korea, which suggests that Bonwonsa Temple was first established during the Baekje Kingdom and not later. Rather…

  • Chungcheongnam-do

    Cheonjangsa Temple – 천장사 (Seosan, Chungcheongnam-do)

    Temple History Cheonjangsa Temple is located in southern Seosan, Chungcheongnam-do on Mt. Yeonamsan (440.8 m). In English, Cheonjangsa Temple means “Hidden by Heaven Temple.” The reason for this name is that Cheonjangsa Temple is hidden so deeply in the mountain that both the sky and the earth can’t find the temple. Additionally, the temple is classified as Traditional Temple #42. Purportedly, Cheonjangsa Temple was first built in 633 A.D. by the monk Damhwa during the Baekje Kingdom (18 B.C. – 660 A.D.). However, there are no records or relics of the monk Damhwa. What is more likely is that Cheonjangsa Temple was first established some time during the Goryeo Dynasty…

  • Chungcheongnam-do

    The Rock-Carved Buddha Triad in Yonghyeon-ri – 용현리 마애여래삼존상 (Seosan, Chungcheongnam-do)

    The History and Design of the Rock-Carving The Rock-Carved Buddha Triad in Yonghyeon-ri, or the “Smile of Baekje” as it’s unofficially known, is located in eastern Seosan, Chungcheongnam-do up a long valley on the northern side of Mt. Gayasan (678.2 m). You first make your way up a side-winding set of stairs that both span a stream and climb the side of a mountain, which makes it easier to visit the historic site. The Rock-Carved Buddha Triad in Yonghyeon-ri, which stands 2.8 metres in height, is comprised of a triad that consists of the central image of Seokgamoni-bul (The Historical Buddha). This image is joined on either side by two…

  • Chungcheongnam-do

    Sinwonsa Temple – 신원사 (Gongju, Chungcheongnam-do)

    Temple History Sinwonsa Temple is located in Gongju, Chungcheongnam-do. More specifically, Sinwonsa Temple is one of three major temples located in Gyeryongsan National Park alongside Donghaksa Temple and Gapsa Temple. Sinwonsa Temple is situated in the western part of the park. Sinwonsa Temple was first established in 651 A.D. by the monk Bodeok-hwasang, who was also the founder of Yeolban-jong (The Nirvana Sect). Eventually, the temple was left in disrepair and eventually rebuilt by Doseon-guksa (826-898 A.D.) at the end of Unified Silla (668-935 A.D.). The temple was later rebuilt in 1298; and then again in 1393 by the monk Muhak-daesa (1327-1405). After this rebuild, the temple was destroyed in…

  • Chungcheongnam-do

    Gaesimsa Temple – 개심사 (Seosan, Chungcheongnam-do)

    Temple History Gaesimsa Temple is located in eastern Seosan, Chungcheongnam-do. Gaesimsa Temple is joined to the south by Mt. Illaksan (521.4 m). Rather confusedly, it’s written about the temple’s history that Gaesimsa Temple was built by the monk Hyegam in the 5th year of Queen Jindeok of Silla’s reign (r. 647-654 A.D.) and the 14th year of King Uija of Baekje’s reign (r. 641-660 A.D.). The only problem with this is that that would make it the year 651 A.D. during Queen Jindeok of Silla’s reign, while it would make it 654 A.D. during King Uija of Baekje’s reign. Generally, however, it’s believed that Gaesimsa Temple was first constructed in…

  • Chungcheongnam-do

    Anmyeonam Hermitage – 안면암 (Taean, Chungcheongnam-do)

    Hermitage History Anmyeonam Hermitage is located in Taean, Chungcheongnam-do on Anmyeon-do Island; from which, the hermitage gets its name. Anmyeonam Hermitage is a new hermitage first constructed in 1998. The hermitage belongs to the Jogye-jong Order, and it falls under the administration of Geumsansa Temple. Anmyeonam Hermitage was first built by the followers of the monk Jimyeong, who was the head monk at Beopjusa Temple. Anmyeonam Hermitage is a coastal hermitage that overlooks Cheonsuman Bay. There are numerous shrine halls stacked and gathered together on the hermitage grounds. Unfortunately, they’re all concrete. But while newer and concrete in composition, the coastal views are stunning. Hermitage Layout You first approach Anmyeonam…

  • Chungcheongnam-do

    Ganwolam Hermitage – 간월암 (Seosan, Chungcheongnam-do)

    Hermitage History Ganwolam Hermitage is a coastal hermitage located in southern Seosan, Chungcheongnam do on Ganwol-do Island. Previously, the island was known as Pian-do Island, and the hermitage was known as Piansa Temple. The hermitage is also known as Yeonhwa-dae and/or Nakgasan Wontong-dae. The reason for Yeonhwa-dae is because it’s believed that the island looks like a lotus flower floating on water. And the reason for Nakgasan Wontong-dae is because it’s believed to look like the mythical Mt. Potalaka, which is where Gwanseeum-bosal (The Bodhisattva of Compassion) is believed to reside. As for the hermitage’s current name, Ganwolam Hermitage, it originated from the fact that Muhak-daesa (1327-1405) gained enlightenment while…

  • Chungcheongnam-do

    Gwanchoksa Temple – 관촉사 (Nonsan, Chungcheongnam-do)

    Temple History Gwanchoksa Temple in Nonsan, Chungcheongnam-do is located on the diminutive slopes of Mt. Banyasan (100 m). The temple was first founded in 968 A.D., at the start of the Goryeo Dynasty (918-1392), by the monk Hyemyeong-daesa. The temple was rebuilt several times throughout the centuries. And the history of the temple is intermingled with several myths and legends. Gwanchoksa Temple is home to a National Treasure and a Korean Treasure. The National Treasure is the Standing Stone Mireuk-bosal Statue of Gwanchoksa Temple, which is also known as the Eunjin Mireuk Statue. For the longest of times, it was known as a Korean Treasure, Korean Treasure #218. Then in…

  • Chungcheongnam-do

    Janggoksa Temple – 장곡사 (Cheongyang, Chungcheongnam-do)

    Temple History Janggoksa Temple, which means “Guardian Valley Temple” in English, is located on the western slopes of Mt. Chilgapsan (559.7) in Cheongyang, Chungcheongnam-do. Located in a valley, Janggoksa Temple was first established in 850 A.D. by Seon Master Chejing (804-880 A.D.). It should be noted that Seon Master Chejing, who was posthumously awarded the title of Master Bojo, established Borimsa Temple in Jangheung, Jeollanam-do. Borimsa Temple was established in 860 A.D. ten years after the establishment of Janggoksa Temple. Borimsa Temple was made at the request of King Heonan of Silla (r. 857-861 A.D.). Borimsa Temple was one of the Gusan Seonmun, or “Nine Mountain Zen Gates” in English.…

  • Chungcheongnam-do

    Muryangsa Temple – 무량사 (Buyeo, Chungcheongnam-do)

    Temple History Muryangsa Temple is located in Buyeo, Chungcheongnam-do at the foot of Mt. Mansusan (575 m). The name of the temple is in reference to Amita-bul (The Buddha of the Western Paradise). One of the halls that Amita-bul can reside in at a Korean Buddhist temple is called a Muryangsu-jeon Hall, which means “Immeasurable Life Hall” in English. The exact date that Muryangsa Temple was first built is unknown; however, it was first built during the reign of King Munseong of Silla (r. 839-857 A.D.). It was first built by the Beomil-guksa (National Preceptor). Muryangsa Temple was later renovated and expanded during the Goryeo Dynasty (918-1392). At this time,…