• Ulsan

    Gulamsa Temple – 굴암사 (Ulju-gun, Ulsan)

    Temple History Gulamsa Temple is located in the far western part of Ulsan in Ulju-gun on Mt. Hwajangsan (271.6 m). Purportedly, the temple was founded by the monk Dohwa-doin during the reign of King Soji of Silla (r. 479-500 A.D.). However, after its founding, very little is known about the temple. What is known is that it was rebuilt in 1966 by An Seok-beom of Haeinsa Temple in Hapcheon, Gyeongsangnam-do. Currently, Gulamsa Temple belongs to the Taego-jong Order, which is the second largest Buddhist order in Korea. As for the founding of the temple, there’s an interesting little legend that goes along with it. According to this legend, King Soji…

  • Ulsan

    Sinheungsa Temple – 신흥사 (Buk-gu, Ulsan)

    Temple History Sinheungsa Temple is located in Buk-gu, Ulsan. The temple was first founded in 635 A.D. by the monk Myeongrang-beopsa. The temple was built in the hopes of peace. Originally, the temple was named Geonheungsa Temple. According to temple records, the temple helped train one hundred monks in 678 A.D. Sinheungsa Temple also played a part in the Imjin War (1592-1598). The temple sent three hundred bags of rice and warrior monks that joined the Righteous Army in the defence of the Korean peninsula. Unfortunately, because of the role it played in defending Korea, Sinheungsa Temple was destroyed by the invading Japanese. The temple was later rebuilt in 1646…

  • North Korea

    Yujomsa Temple – 유점사 (Kosan, Kangwon-to, North Korea)

    Temple Myth This temple post is a little different than others in that the temple no longer exists. However, because of its historical significance, and with it being in North Korea, I decided to do a post on it. And it should be noted, before I get too far ahead of myself, that this article will largely use the North Korean spelling of locations. Now, with all that being said, Yujomsa Temple [Yujeomsa Temple] has one of the more interesting temple myths associated with it. Rather strangely, and according to “Saji,” a historical document, Yujomsa Temple [Yujeomsa Temple] was first founded in 4 A.D., which is rather odd since Buddhism…

  • 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…

  • Jeollabuk-do

    Eunsusa Temple – 은수사 (Jinan, Jeollabuk-do)

    Temple History Eunsusa Temple, which means “Silver Water Temple” in English, is located in Maisan Provincial Park on the ridge above Tapsa Temple in Jinan, Jeollabuk-do. The temple was first called Sangwonsa Temple during the early part of the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910). Sangwonsa Temple would fall into disrepair and a hermitage was built on the temple’s former grounds. This hermitage would be named Jeongmyeongam Hermitage. The current name of the temple, Eunsusa Temple, and according to legend, was made when King Taejo of Joseon (r. 1392-1398) visited the temple. After he made the comment that the water flowing nearby was as clean and smooth as pure silver, the temple would…

  • North Korea

    Kwanumsa Temple – 관음사 (Kaesong, Hwanghaebuk-to North Korea)

    Temple History Kwanumsa Temple [Gwaneumsa Temple] is located on Mt. Chonmasan near Kaesong, North Korea. The temple is named after Kwanum, or Gwanseeum-bosal (The Bodhisattva of Compassion). And it should be noted that some of the spelling in this post will be based on North Korean spelling. This small temple is located between two mountains in a valley. The two mountains are Mt. Chonmasan (757 m) and Mt. Songgosan; and at the back of the valley, you’ll find Pakyon Falls. Kwanumsa Temple was first established in 970 A.D. by the monk Beopin, when he placed two marble statues of Gwanseeum-bosal inside a cave behind the temple. As for the temple,…

  • 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.…

  • North Korea

    Anguksa Temple – 안국사 (Pyongsong, Pyongannam-to, North Korea)

    Temple History Anguksa Temple is located in Pyongsong, Pyongannam-to, North Korea. It’s located on the slopes of Mt. Pongrinsan (217 m). And for the rest of this article, it should be noted, that the spelling of North Korean places will use the North Korean style of spelling. Anguksa Temple was first established in 503 A.D. Anguksa Temple is one of the oldest cultural sites still remaining in North Korea. Of particular importance is the two-story Taeungbo-jeon Hall [Daeungbo-jeon Hall] that was built during the mid-Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910). According to the writing on the eaves inside the Taeungbo-jeon Hall, the main hall was rebuilt in 1419. It was later rebuilt again…

  • 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…

  • North Korea

    Songbulsa Temple – 성불사 (Sariwon, Hwanghaebuk-to, North Korea)

    Temple History Songbulsa Temple [Seongbulsa Temple] is located in Sariwon, Hwanghaebuk-to, North Korea. Additionally, Songbulsa Temple is located inside the Mt. Jongbangsan [Jeongbangsan] Fortress in the southwest corner. The fortress was rebuilt in 1632 to ward off Japanese pirates. And for the rest of this article, it should be noted, that the spelling of North Korean places will use the North Korean style of spelling. As for the temple, it was first founded in 898 A.D. by Doseon-guksa (826-898 A.D.). After falling into disrepair, Songbulsa Temple was rebuilt in 1374 by Naong (1320-1376). The temple was then expanded in 1569 and 1632. In 1751, the temple was repaired by the…