• Gyeongsangbuk-do

    Daebisa Temple – 대비사 (Cheongdo, Gyeongsangbuk-do)

    Temple History Daebisa Temple is located in Cheongdo, Gyeongsangbuk-do. Daebisa Temple was first founded in 566 A.D. by the monk Sinseung. Originally, the temple was known as Sojakgapsa Temple. Later, the temple was expanded by the monk Wongwang-guksa (558-638 A.D.) in 600 A.D. It was at this time that the temple was renamed Daebigapsa Temple. As for the name change, it’s slightly unclear as to how it got its name. One theory is that the temple got its name from a Silla Kingdom (57 B.C. – 935 A.D.) queen. Supposedly the temple is named after this queen that stayed at the temple for an extended period of time. Originally, Daebisa…

  • Gyeongsangbuk-do

    Daeunam Hermitage – 대운암 (Cheongdo, Gyeongsangbuk-do)

    Hermitage History Daeunam Hermitage is located on the southern part of the Mt. Yonggaksan (696.8 m) mountain range on Mt. Oryesan in northeastern Cheongdo, Gyeongsangbuk-do. Daeunam Hermitage was first established in 1868 near the end of the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910). Daeunam Hermitage was eventually destroyed in the 1900s by fire, and it would be rebuilt by Buam-seonsa in 1930. More recently, Daeunam Hermitage has grown in size with the additions of the Sanshin-gak Hall in 1996, the dorms in 1998, and the Gwaneum-jeon Hall in 2000. Daeunam Hermitage is also home to Gyeongsangbuk-do Cultural Property Material #309, which is the Seated Wooden Gwaneum-bosal Statue and Accompanying Relics of Daeunam Hermitage.…

  • Gyeongsangbuk-do

    Daedunsa Temple – 대둔사 (Gumi, Gyeongsangbuk-do)

    Temple History Daedunsa Temple is located on the northeastern side of Mt. Bokusan (508 m) in northern Gumi, Gyeongsangbuk-do. Daedunsa Temple is one of the earliest temples to have been established in Korea that’s still in existence. The temple was founded in 446 A.D. by the monk Ado, who may or may not be the same Ado that founded Jikjisa Temple. In 1231, Daedunsa Temple was completely destroyed by fire by the invading Mongols during the Mongol Invasions of Korea (1231-1270). The temple would be rebuilt during the reign of King Chungnyeol of Goryeo (r. 1274-1308). In fact, the temple was rebuilt by Wangsogun, who was the eldest son of…

  • Gyeongsangbuk-do

    Daejeonsa Temple – 대전사 (Cheongsong, Gyeongsangbuk-do)

    Temple History Daejeonsa Temple is located in the southwest corner of Juwangsan National Park in Cheongsong, Gyeongsangbuk-do. Juwangsan National Park is the smallest of the national parks in Korea, but it certainly doesn’t lack for beauty with its scenic valleys and rocky mountains. It’s believed that Daejeonsa Temple was first established in 672 A.D. by the famed monk Uisang-daesa (625-702 A.D.). The temple was completely destroyed in 1592 during the Imjin War (1592-1598) by the invading Japanese. The temple was later rebuilt in 1672. Unfortunately, not much is known about the temple’s history from when it was first established in 672 A.D. to when it was later destroyed in 1592.…

  • Gyeongsangbuk-do

    Ingaksa Temple – 인각사 (Gunwi, Gyeongsangbuk-do)

    Temple History Ingaksa Temple is located in the southeastern part of Gunwi, Gyeongsangbuk-do. The temple was first founded in 643 A.D. by the famed monk Wonhyo-daesa (617-686 A.D.). The name of the temple means “Giraffe Horn Temple” in English. More specifically, the temple is located next to the Wicheon River and Mt. Hwasan (828.1 m). Interestingly, people thought that Mt. Hwasan looked like a giraffe. And where Ingaksa Temple is located, people believed that’s where the giraffe’s horn should have been located; and hence, the temple’s name. During the Goryeo Dynasty (918-1392), Ingaksa Temple was further expanded. And as the temple grew in size, Ingaksa Temple also grew to be…

  • Gyeongsangbuk-do

    Beopheungsa-ji Temple Site – 법흥사지 (Andong, Gyeongsangbuk-do)

    Temple Site History The Beopheungsa-ji Temple Site is located in eastern Andong, Gyeongsangbuk-do. The Beopheungsa-ji Temple Site is backed by the Imcheonggak House; and according to Pungsu-jiri (geomancy/feng sui), the location is thought to be auspicious because of its south-facing location with a mountain to its back (Mt. Yeongnamsan) and a river (the Nakdong River) to its front. All that remains of the former temple, Beopheungsa Temple, is the Seven-Story Brick Pagoda at Beopheungsa Temple Site, which is National Treasure #16. Given that the temple site is located in Beopheung-ri in Andong, it’s assumed that the temple was named Beopheungsa Temple; thus, giving the area its name. It’s also believed…

  • Gyeongsangbuk-do

    Chukseosa Temple – 축서사 (Bonghwa, Gyeongsangbuk-do)

    Temple History Chukseosa Temple is located in Bonghwa, Gyeongsangbuk-do to the west of Mt. Munsusan (1,207.3). Chukseosa Temple was first founded in 673 A.D. by the famed monk Uisang-daesa (625-702 A.D.). The name of the temple, “Chukseo” is in reference to Mt. Yeongchuksan. And Mt. Yeongchuksan means “Vulture Peak,” or “Holy Eagle Peak” in English. This was the site where the Buddha gave certain sermons in India. Among these sermons are the Heart Sutra and the Lotus Sutra. More specifically, the “Chukseo” in the temple name is in reference to eagles and how eagles mean wisdom in Buddhism. And this wisdom is in reference to the Bodhisattva of Wisdom, Munsu-bosal,…

  • Gyeongsangbuk-do

    Simwonsa Temple – 심원사 (Seongju, Gyeongsangbuk-do)

    Temple History Simwonsa Temple is located in the northeastern part of Gayasan National Park in Seongju, Gyeongsangbuk-do. In fact, Simwonsa Temple isn’t all that far away from the famed Haeinsa Temple, which is also located in Gayasan National Park. It’s believed that Simwonsa Temple was first founded during Unified Silla (668-935 A.D.) some time in the 8th century. Yi Sung-in, who was also known under the pen-name of Doeun, and who was born in Seongju during the Goryeo Dynasty (918-1392), wrote about the temple in one of his poems entitled “Gimsimwonjeongro.” In this poem, he describes the temple as “The ancient temple, Simwonsa Temple, stands on Mt. Gayasan.” Additionally, and…

  • Gyeongsangbuk-do

    Gimnyongsa Temple – 김룡사 (Mungyeong, Gyeongsangbuk-do)

    Temple History Gimnyongsa Temple is located in Mungyeong, Gyeongsangbuk-do to the southeast of Mt. Undalsan (1,103.2 m). The temple was first built in 588 A.D. by the monk Undal-josa. Originally, the temple was named Unbongsa Temple. However, there are several legends associated with the temple, one of which, gives the temple its name. According to this legend, there was a man with the surname Kim that was the local magistrate. Kim committed a crime while in office, so he hid in the mountains under Unbongsa Temple. He would frequently visit the temple to help quell the feelings of regret that he had. During this time, Kim met a young woman.…

  • Gyeongsangbuk-do

    Gunwi Grotto (2nd Seokguram) – 군위 석굴 (제2 석굴암) (Gunwi, Gyeongsangbuk-do)

    Grotto History The Gunwi Grotto in Gunwi, Gyeongsangbuk-do goes by a few names that include the 2nd Seokguram Hermitage and the Samjonseokgul Cave. The Gunwi Grotto is located on the northern side of Mt. Palgongsan (1,192.3 m). The Buddhist temple founded on this site was believed to be first established during the early part of Unified Silla (676-935 A.D.). The stone cave is located twenty metres above ground, and the height of the cave is 4.25 metres tall. Additionally, the cave is 4.3 metres deep, and the floor of the cave is flat. What makes the Gunwi Grotto so important is that it precedes the founding of the renowned Seokguram…