• Gyeongju

    Daeheungsa Temple – 대흥사 (Gyeongju)

    Temple History Daeheungsa Temple is located in northern Gyeongju, and it’s situated at the start of a long valley to the south-east of Mt. Jioksan (569 m). Daeheungsa Temple is a modern temple that belongs to the Yeombul-jong Order, which is one of the twenty-seven Buddhist orders recognized by the Korean government. They give primacy to chanting, and they focus on Amita-bul (The Buddha of the Western Paradise) as their primary Buddha that they worship. Yeombul-jong Buddhism was first founded in 1991 by the monk Kim Yunbo, and its headquarters is located in the city of Daejeon at Wongwangsa Temple. As for Daeheungsa Temple, it’s built on the rather large…

  • Gyeongju

    Seondosa Temple – 선도사 (Gyeongju)

    Temple History Seondosa Temple is located in the south-western portion of Gyeongju on Mt. Seondosan (380.6 m). The mountain was regarded as the Pure Land in Korean Buddhism during the Silla Dynasty (57 B.C. – 935 A.D.). Sadly, the mountain has been negatively impacted by forest fires in the not too distant past, which is made plain by the charred landscape. And near the peak of Mt. Seondosan is the diminutive Seondosa Temple. Near the base of the mountain, you’ll find the Royal Tomb of King Jinheung of Silla, which is Historic Site #177; the Royal Tomb of King Beopheung of Silla, which is Historic Site #176; as well as…

  • Gyeongju

    Rock-Carved Seated Buddha in Bulgok Valley of Namsan Mountain – 남산불곡석불좌상 (Gyeongju)

    The History and Design of the Statue Officially, this statue is known as the Rock-Carved Seated Buddha in Bulgok Valley of Namsan Mountain – 남산불곡석불좌상, and it’s located on the north-east side of the historic Mt. Namsan (494 m) in Gyeongju. In fact, the name of the valley, which means “Buddha Valley” in English, is named after this statue. This statue is also known as the Bucheogol Halmae, or the “Buddha Valley Grandmother” in English. While little visited, women continue to pray at this shrine to have their wishes come true. You’ll first approach the one metre tall statue of the Buddha up a trail that leads through a bamboo…

  • Gyeongju

    Baengnyulsa Temple – 백률사 (Gyeongju)

    Temple History Baengnyulsa Temple is located just to the north of Bunhwangsa Temple in Gyeongju on Mt. Sogeumgangsan (176.7 m). Supposedly, and according to the Samguk Yusa, the temple was built to commemorate the martyrdom of Ichadon (501 – 527 A.D.). Originally, the temple was called Jachusa Temple. In English, “ja” means “pine nuts,” while “chu” means “chestnut.” Later Jachusa Temple changed its name to Baengnyulsa Temple. It was common at this time in Korean history, during the Silla Dynasty (57 B.C. – 935 A.D.), that if a temple had the same sound and/or meaning, the name of the temple could change. With this in mind, “baek” means “pine nut”…

  • Gyeongju

    Jeonghyesa-ji Temple Site – 정혜사지 (Gyeongju)

    Temple Site History The Jeonghyesa-ji Temple Site is located in a long valley in northern Gyeongju east of Mt. Jaoksan (569.9 m) and Mt. Dodeoksan (707.5 m). The Jeonghyesa Temple Site is home to one of the most unique pagodas that you’ll find in Korea. The Thirteen-Story Stone Pagoda at Jeonghyesa Temple Site is also National Treasure #40. As for the history of the actual temple, there is very little known about it. With that being said, historians assume that Jeonghyesa Temple existed during the Later Silla Dynasty (668-935), but there’s no specific foundation year to this temple. It’s also known that Jeonghyesa Temple existed during the mid-Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910).…

  • Gyeongju

    Wolji Pond – 월지 (Gyeongju)

    History of Wolji Pond Since the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910), Wolji Pond was known as Anapji Pond. The name Anapji is a combination of three Chinese characters: “An – 雁,” which means “goose” in English; “Ap – 鴨,” which means “duck,” and “Ji – 池,” which means “pond” in English. The reason for this name is that after Later Silla collapsed (668-935 A.D.), and Donggung Palace was abandoned, the pond was occupied by wild geese, ducks, and reeds. During the excavation of Wolji Pond, a lock with the inscription “Donggunga” on it suggested that the pond’s original name was Wolji. The reason for this is that the name “Donggunga” was in…

  • Gyeongju

    Sacheonwangsa-ji Temple Site – 사천왕사지 (Gyeongju)

    This posts contains affiliate links. I receive a percentage of sales, if you purchase the item after clicking on an advertising link at no expense to you. This will help keep the website running. Thanks, as always, for your support!  Temple Site History This is the former site of Sacheonwangsa Temple, which was built in 679 A.D. during Later Silla (668-935 A.D.). It was the first temple to be built by the Silla Kingdom after the unification of the Three Kingdoms (Silla, Baekje, and Goguryeo). The Sacheonwangsa-ji Temple Site is located near the royal tombs of King Sinmun of Silla (r. 681-692 A.D.) and Queen Seondeok (r. 632-647 A.D.) at…

  • Gyeongju

    Heungnyunsa Temple – 흥륜사 (Gyeongju)

    This post contains affiliate links. I receive a percentage of sales, if you purchase the item after clicking on an advertising link at no expense to you. This will help keep the website running. Thanks, as always, for your support! Temple History Heungnyunsa Temple was first established by the Goguryeo missionary monk Ado-hwasang. Ado-hwasang came to the Silla Kingdom from the Goguryeo Kingdom (37 B.C. – 668 A.D.) to help spread the teachings of Buddhism. Heungnyunsa Temple was originally built as a poor thatched-roof building. Heungnyunsa Temple was later rebuilt as a great temple of the Silla Kingdom after the martyrdom of the monk Ichadon (501-527 A.D.). Heungnyunsa Temple, which…

  • Gyeongju

    Gulbulsa-ji Temple Site – 굴불사지 (Gyeongju)

    This posts contains affiliate links. I receive a percentage of sales, if you purchase the item after clicking on an advertising link at no expense to you. This will help keep the website running. Thanks, as always, for your support! Temple Site History Gulbulsa-ji Temple Site is located in the centre of Gyeongju at the base of Mt. Sogeumgangsan (176.7 m). According to the Samguk Yusa (Memorabilia of the Three Kingdoms), a 13th century text, King Gyeongdeok of Silla (r. 742-765 A.D.) was making the short trek to the neighbouring Baeknyulsa Temple. Baeknyulsa Temple is located a little further up Mt. Sogeumgangsan. However, as King Gyeongdeok of Silla was making…

  • Gyeongju

    Gameunsa-ji Temple Site – 감은사지 (Gyeongju)

    This posts contains affiliate links. I receive a percentage of sales, if you purchase the item after clicking on an advertising link at no expense to you. This will help keep the website running. Thanks, as always, for your support! Temple Site History The history of Gameunsa-ji Temple Site is inextricably linked to King Munmu of Silla (r. 661-681 A.D.). King Munmu of Silla is considered to be the first king of Unified Silla (668-935 A.D.). And it’s this link to history, and the defence of the kingdom that he unified, that the course of Gameunsa-ji Temple Site and King Munmu are forever connected. King Munmu of Silla (626-681 A.D.)…