• Gyeongsangnam-do

    Buljosa Temple – 불조사 (Gimhae, Gyeongsangnam-do)

    Temple History Buljosa Temple is located to the northwest of Mt. Sineosan (630.7 m) in northern Gimhae, Gyeongsangnam-do. The temple was first constructed in 1995 to help commemorate the monk Jangyu-hwasang, who puportedly first arrived on the Korean Peninsula in 46 A.D. Jangyu-hwasang, whose original name was Heo Bo-ok, was the brother of Queen Heo Hwang-ok. Queen Heo Hwang-ok (32-189 A.D.) would become the wife of Suro of Geumgwan Gaya (42? – 199 A.D.), who was the legendary founder of Geumwang Gaya (43–532 A.D.). Jangyu-hwasang, in his own right, was purportedly a prince. He, alongside twenty servants, sailed with his sister, Queen Heo Hwang-ok, to the Korean Peninsula. According to…

  • Gyeongsangnam-do

    Okcheonsa Temple – 옥천사 (Goseong, Gyeongsangnam-do)

    Temple History Okcheonsa Temple, which means “Jade Springs Temple” in English, is located in Goseong, Gyeongsangnam-do. Okcheonsa Temple dates back to 676 A.D., when it was first established by Uisang-daesa (625-702 A.D.). Okcheonsa Temple was one of the Hwaeom-shipchal (The Ten Great Hwaeom Temples) alongside such temples as Buseoksa Temple, Haeinsa Temple, Hwaeomsa Temple, Gapsa Temple, Beomeosa Temple, Bulguksa Temple, and Bongjeongsa Temple. For these efforts, Uisang-daesa is also known as the “Temple Builder.” Rather interestingly, and according to Choi Chiwon (857–10th century), nearby Ssanggyesa Temple was originally named Okcheonsa Temple, when it was first founded in 722 A.D. But because Okcheonsa Temple in Goseong, Gyeongsangnam-do predated the founding of…

  • Gyeongsangnam-do

    Daewonsa Temple – 대원사 (Sancheong, Gyeongsangnam-do)

    Temple History Daewonsa Temple in Sancheong, Gyeongsangnam-do, which shouldn’t be confused with the numerous other temples in Korea with the same name, is located in the northeastern part of Jirisan National Park. Daewonsa Temple was first founded in 548 A.D. by Yeongi-josa, who also founded Hwaeomsa Temple in 544 A.D. and Yeongoksa Temple in 543 A.D. It’s believed that Yeongi-josa was from India. Originally, the temple was called Pyeongwonsa Temple. Then during the mid-600s, Jajang-yulsa (590-685 A.D.) purportedly built the Multi-Story Stone Pagoda of Daewonsa Temple. For the next 1,000 years, the temple ceased to exist. Eventually, the temple was rebuilt only to be destroyed in 1592 by the invading…

  • Gyeongsangnam-do

    Jeongchwiam Hermitage – 정취암 (Sancheong, Gyeongsangnam-do)

    Hermitage History Jeongchwiam Hermitage is located in eastern Sancheong, Gyeongsangnam-do in the foothills of Mt. Daeseongsan. Additionally, the hermitage is located within the northern boundaries of Jirisan National Park. The hermitage was first founded in 686 A.D. by Uisang-daesa (625-702 A.D.). According to a hermitage legend, during the 6th year of King Sinmun of Silla’s reign, which lasted from 681 to 692 A.D., Amita-bul (The Buddha of the Western Paradise) rose from the East Sea and shone two streams of light onto the Korean Peninsula. One of these beams of light shone on Mt. Geumgangsan (present-day North Korea) and the other beam of light shone on Mt. Daeseongsan. According to…

  • Gyeongsangnam-do

    Yongmunsa Temple – 용문사 (Namhae, Gyeongsangnam-do)

    Temple History Yongmunsa Temple, which is located in Namhae, Gyeongsangnam-do, means “Dragon Gate Temple” in English. Yongmunsa Temple was first constructed in a round about way by the famed monk Wonhyo-daesa (617-686 A.D.) in 663 A.D. Originally, when Wonhyo-daesa built the temple, it was called Bogwangsa Temple on Mt. Geumsan. The temple was later moved to its current location on Mt. Hogusan. It was at this time that the temple changed its name to Yongmunsa Temple. Yongmunsa Temple would eventually be completely destroyed during the Imjin War (1592-1598). Yongmunsa Temple would be rebuilt in 1666, when the Daeung-jeon Hall was built by the monk Baekwol. During the reign of King…

  • Colonial Korea,  Gyeongsangnam-do

    Colonial Korea – Haeinsa Temple

    Temple History Haeinsa Temple, which is located in Hapcheon, Gyeongsangnam-do, means “Ocean Seal Temple” in English. The name of the temple is in reference to the “Ocean Seal” samadhi (meditative consciousness) from the Avatamsaka Sutra, or “Flower Garland Sutra” in English, or “Hwaeom-gyeong” in Korean. The reason for this reference is the idea that the mind is like the surface of a perfectly calm sea. And it’s from this that the true image of our existence is clearly reflected and everything appears as it is. Alongside Tongdosa Temple in Yangsan, Gyeongsangnam-do and Songgwangsa Temple in Suncheon, Jeollanam-do, Haeinsa Temple forms the Three Jewel Temples (삼보사찰, or “Sambosachal” in English). Tongdosa Temple represents the Buddha, Songgwangsa Temple represents the Sangha, and Haeinsa Temple represents…

  • Colonial Korea,  Gyeongsangnam-do

    Colonial Korea – Tongdosa Temple

    Temple History Tongdosa Temple, which is located in northern Yangsan, Gyeongsangnam-do, is the largest temple in all of Korea with nineteen hermitages spread throughout its vast grounds. Tongdosa Temple means “Passing Through to Enlightenment Temple” in English. Tongdosa Temple was first founded in 646 A.D. by the famed monk Jajang-yulsa (590-658 A.D.). According to the “Tongdosa-sarigasa-sajeok-yannok,” the temple site was originally a large pond, but it was covered over by landfill so as to allow for Tongdosa Temple to be built. Also, and according to the “Tongdosa-yakji,” the name of Mt. Yeongchuksan, which is where Tongdosa Temple is located, was named after the mountain in India where the Historical Buddha (Seokgamoni-bul) gave his…

  • Gyeongsangnam-do

    Yongjusa Temple – 용주사 (Yangsan, Gyeongsangnam-do)

    Temple History Yongjusa Temple is located on the west side of Mt. Cheonseongsan (920.1 m) in Yangsan, Gyeongsangnam-do. Yongjusa Temple is a modern temple being completed in June, 1972. The temple was named Yongjusa Temple after the founder of the temple had a dream where a dragon flew up into the sky holding a wisdom pearl in its mouth as it flew. In 1983, after the death of the founder of the temple, the monk Jijin took over the position of head of the temple at this time. In 2009, with the passing of Jijin, the monk Seongnam took over the position of head monk at the temple. From this…

  • Gyeongsangnam-do

    Eunhasa Temple – 은하사 (Gimhae, Gyeongsangnam-do)

    Temple History Eunhasa Temple, which means “Silver Water Temple” in English, is located in the foothills of Mt. Sineonsan (630.7 m), or “Fish Deity Mountain” in English in Gimhae, Gyeongsangnam-do. And the reason that Eunhasa Temple has this name is that Mt. Sineonsan used to be called Mt. Eunhasan. According to a legend, Eunhasa Temple dates back to the reign of King Suro of Geumgwan Gaya (?-199 A.D.), when it was built by the monk (and brother to Queen Heo), Jangyu-hwasang. What is more likely, and based upon earthenware found on the temple grounds, is that the temple dates back to the Three Kingdoms of Korea (18 B.C. – 660…

  • Gyeongsangnam-do

    Dasolsa Temple – 다솔사 (Sacheon, Gyeongsangnam-do)

    Temple History Dasolsa Temple is located to the east of Mt. Bongmyeongsan (407.1 m) in Sacheon, Gyeongsangnam-do. Dasolsa Temple was first constructed in 503 A.D. by the Indian monk Yeongi, who also founded Hwaeomsa Temple in 544 A.D. Originally, the temple was called Yeongaksa Temple. The temple would change its name to Dasolsa Temple in 636 A.D. Uisang-daesa (625-702 A.D.) would then change the temple’s name to Yeongbongsa Temple in 676 A.D. Over a hundred years later, the temple would change its name, once more, during the reign of King Gyeongmun of Silla (r. 861-875 A.D.) by the famed monk Doseon-guksa (826-898 A.D.). The temple was repaired in 1326 to…