• Chungcheongnam-do

    Donghaksa Temple – 동학사 (Gongju, Chungcheongnam-do)

     Hello Again Everyone!! Donghaksa Temple, which means “Eastern Crane Temple,” in English, is located in Gongju, Chungcheongnam-do. Originally, the temple was first constructed in 724 A.D. by the little known monk Sangwon-josa. One source claims Sangwon-josa was a monk from Tang China. The temple was called Cheongryangsa Temple, or “Clear Cold Temple,” in English. It was called this in honour of the cool mountain stream that flowed, and still flows, in front of the temple. According to one legend, Sangwon-josa saved the life of a tiger. In order to repay the monk, the tiger brought a young woman to the temple. Sangwon-josa decided to adopt the young woman, and he…

  • Jeollanam-do

    Taeansa Temple – 태안사 (Gokseong, Jeollanam-do)

    Hello Again Everyone!! Taeansa Temple, which is located on Mt. Bongdusan (753.8 m), or Mt. Dongrisan (as the temple calls this mountain), in Gokseong, Jeollanam-do. And even though it’s several kilometres away from Mt. Jirisan (1915 m), the temple is still considered part of the greater Mt. Jirisan area. The name of the temple means “Grand Peace Temple,” in English. According to historical documents, Taeansa Temple was first constructed in February, 742 A.D. by three master monks. Later, Great Meditation Master Hyecheol Jeogin-seonsa (785-861 A.D.), who received Buddhist teachings from Grand Master Seodang-jijang of Tang China, returned to the Silla Kingdom. He established Dongrisanmun, which was one of the Gusan…

  • Artwork

    Daeung-jeon – Great Hero Hall: 대웅전

    Hello Again Everyone!! When you visit a Korean Buddhist temple, you’ll see numerous halls dedicated to various Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, and deities. The diversity at a Buddhist temple comes from Korean shamanism, as well as Mahayana Buddhism. Within Mahayana Buddhism, there are literally hundreds of Buddhas (fully enlightened beings) and Bodhisattvas (enlightened beings, who through compassion forgo nirvana in order to help save other beings). And while Mahayana Buddhism has hundreds of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, the Korean form of Mahayana Buddhism usually only worships a select few. The central figure to Buddhism is Seokgamoni-bul (The Historical Buddha). Inside the Daeung-jeon Hall sits a centrally located statue of Seokgamoni-bul (The Historical Buddha)…

  • Gyeongju

    Bunhwangsa Temple – 분황사 (Gyeongju)

    Hello Everyone!! Bunhwangsa Temple is located in downtown Gyeongju near Hwangnyongsa-ji Temple Site and Wol-ji Pond. Bunhwangsa Temple means “Fragrant Emperor/Imperial Temple,” in English. Bunhwangsa Temple was first established in 634 A.D. under the auspices of the famed Silla ruler, Queen Seondeok (r.632-647 A.D.). At this time, during Queen Seondeok’s reign, Buddhism was only a century old, having only been adopted by the Silla Kingdom in 527 A.D. by King Beopheung (r.514-540 A.D). Early in its history, Bunhwangsa Temple was a large temple. It consisted of an inner gate, three golden halls, an assembly hall, a gallery, and a stone pagoda (which is the only thing that still remains today…

  • Daegu

    Buinsa Temple – 부인사 (Dong-gu, Daegu)

    Hello Again Everyone!! Buinsa Temple, which was first constructed during the 7th century, is located on the southern part of the famous Mt. Palgongsan (1,192.3m) in northern Daegu. The name of the temple is an honourific reference to a woman, which simply means “Ma’am” or “Madam,” in English. So the name of the temple means “Ma’am/Madam Temple,” in English. The reason that it’s called this is it’s in reference to Queen Seondeok (r.632-647 A.D.). In fact, the temple was built to pray for the overall health and welfare of Queen Seondeok. Queen Seondeok was the first reigning queen of the Silla Dynasty (57 B.C. – 935 A.D.). She encouraged the…

  • Gyeongsangbuk-do

    Manbulsa Temple – 만불사 (Yeongcheon, Gyeongsangbuk-do)

    Hello Again Everyone!! Manbulsa Temple, which means “Ten Thousand Buddhas Temple,” in English, is located in south-eastern Yeongcheon, Gyeongsangbuk-do. The temple is scenically located in a valley west of Mt. Manbulsan (275.4m). Manbulsa Temple is a modern temple in the truest sense of the word with its overstated colours and ornate shrine halls. The idea for the construction of Manbulsa Temple dates back to 1981, when the monk Hakseong first thought of building it. However, it’s not until 1992 that the first cornerstone got laid at Manbulsa Temple, which, in effect, started the initial construction of the temple. In February, 1993, the founding monk, Hakseong, brought back a sari (crystallized…

  • Busan

    Mireuksa Temple – 미륵사 (Geumjeong-gu, Busan)

    Hello Again Everyone!! Mireuksa Temple, which is located in Geumjeong-gu, Busan, is indirectly named after the Future Buddha, Mireuk-bul. The reason that the temple is named after Mireuk-bul is because Mireuksa Temple is located under Mireuk-bong Peak (712m) on Mt. Geumjeongsan (801.5m). And the reason that Mireuk-bong Peak gets the name it does is because it’s believed to resemble Mireuk-bul wearing a laureate. From this, it’s believed that Mireuk-bong Peak has given people spiritual energy throughout the centuries. The exact date of the temple’s construction is unknown. However, it’s believed by some that Mireuksa Temple, which was formerly known as Mireukam Hermitage, was founded by the famed monk Wonhyo-daesa (617-686…

  • Gyeongsangnam-do

    Pyochungsa Temple – 표충사 (Miryang, Gyeongsangnam-do)

    Hello Again Everyone!! Pyochungsa Temple, which is located in eastern Miryang, Gyeongsangnam-do, beneath the watchful eye of Mt. Jaeyaksan (1119.1m). The name of the temple means “Display Loyalty (Devotion or Fidelity) Temple,” in English. And Pyochungsa Temple was first established in 654 A.D. by the famed monk Wonhyo-daesa (617 – 686 A.D.). The temple was established after Wonhyo-daesa was meditating at a nearby temple. Looking up, he saw a group of auspicious clouds glowing iridescently above a bamboo forest. Immediately, Wonhyo-daesa built a meditation hut, uphill, where Geumgangam Hermitage now stands. Initially, the temple was called Jungnimsa Temple, which means “Bamboo Forest Temple,” in English. Later, in 826 A.D., the…

  • Gyeongsangbuk-do

    Bogyeongsa Temple – 보경사 (Pohang, Gyeongsangbuk-do)

    Hello Again Everyone!!! Bogyeongsa Temple, which is located in northern Pohang, Gyeongsangbuk-do, is situated to the east of Mt. Cheonryeongsan (774.8 m). Bogyeongsa Temple was first built in 603 A.D., during the reign of King Jinpyeong of Silla (r.579 – 632 A.D.) by the monk Jimyeong. Upon his return to the Silla Kingdom from studying in Tang China, Jimyeong instructed King Jinpyeong of Silla, “If you discover an auspicious site on a famous mountain on the east coast, bury Palmyeong-bogyeong [scripture], and build a Buddhist temple, you will be able to prevent Japanese pirates from invading the Silla Kingdom, and you will unify the Three Kingdoms.” The king was happy…

  • Gyeongju

    Chilbulam Hermitage – 칠불암 (Gyeongju)

    Hello Again Everyone!! Chilbulam Hermitage, which means “Seven Buddhas Hermitage,” in English, is located on the eastern slopes of the historic Mt. Namsan (495 m) in Gyeongju, which was the ancient capital of Silla (57 B.C. to 935 A.D.). The modern form of the hermitage actually only dates back to the 1930’s, when a nun was hunting for wild mushrooms on this part of Mt. Namsan. It was by mere chance that she stumbled upon a pair of statues that comprise the seven Buddhas statue at Chilbulam Hermitage. These statues were buried in the ground. Upon their discovery, the nun built a hut on the grounds. And in 2009, the…