• Gyeongsangnam-do

    Seokgolsa Temple – 석골사 (Miryang, Gyeongsangnam-do)

    Temple History Seokgolsa Temple is located in a long valley west of Mt. Unmunsan (1,188 m) in northeastern Miryang, Gyeongsangnam-do. It’s believed that Seokgolsa Temple was first founded by the monk Beheo-seonsa in 560 A.D. It was later re-established in 773 A.D. by the monk Beopjo. Throughout the years, Seokgolsa Temple has gone by a few different names including Nojeonsa Temple, Seokdongsa Temple, and Seokgulsa Temple. In fact, it’s believed that the temple was originally called Seokgulsa Temple, or “Stone Cave Temple” in English; however, because of the local dialect, and the way that this was pronounced, it changed to Seokgolsa Temple over time. Seokgolsa Temple was also a base…

  • Gyeongsangnam-do

    Maneosa Temple – 만어사 (Miryang, Gyeongsangnam-do)

    Temple Myth The founding of Maneosa Temple appears in the Samguk Yusa, or Memorabilia of the Three Kingdoms in English. According to the Samguk Yusa, “In an antique record it is written that the site of Maneosa Temple was formerly called Mt. Jaseongsan or Mt. Ayasasan. Nearby was Garakuk [The Gaya Conferacy], where an egg descended from heaven on the seacoast from which came a man who ruled over that country. This was King Suro [of Geumgwan Gaya, 42?-199 A.D.]. “In those days there was a poisonous dragon in the mountains which lived in a jade pond and carried on with five female Nachal [Rakshasa] on the sapphire waves, calling…

  • Gyeongju

    Mangwolsa Temple – 망월사 (Gyeongju)

    Temple History Mangwolsa Temple is located on the northwestern side of Mt. Namsan (494 m) in Gyeongju. And just under a hundred metres to the north is Sambulsa Temple. Mangwolsa Temple is a modern temple of the Wonhyo-jong Sect of Korean Buddhism. The Wonhyo-jong Sect is one of twenty-seven Buddhist sects recognized by the Korean government. It was founded in July, 1963 by the monk Haein. Then in August, 1967, Mangwolsa Temple became the headquarters of the sect. Currently, the headquarters of the sect is located out of Seoul. The sect, rather obviously, reveres the teachings of Wonhyo-daesa (617-686 A.D.). The Wonhyo-jong Sect is organized around the exclusion of superstitious…

  • Gyeongju

    Hwangboksa-ji Temple Site – 황복사지 (Gyeongju)

    Temple Site History The Hwangboksa-ji Temple Site is located on the northeast side of Mt. Nangsan (99.5 m) in Gyeongju. The exact date and by whom the temple was first constructed is unknown. In fact, there is still some controversy as to whether this is in fact the location of the historic Hwangboksa Temple. However, with that being said, tiles were discovered at the site with the words “Hwangbok” or “Wangbok” written on them. Additionally, the sari reliquary discovered inside Three-Story Stone Pagoda at Hwangboksa Temple Site, which is National Treasure #37, records how the temple was constructed to wish great fortune on the royal Silla family in the early…

  • Gyeongju

    Jungsaengsa Temple – 중생사 (Gyeongju)

    Temple History Jungsaengsa Temple is located on the northwestern part of Mt. Nangsan (99.5 m) in Gyeongju, Gyeongsangbuk-do. Jungsaengsa Temple is a branch temple of Bulguksa Temple. Jungsaengsa Temple was first founded in 679 A.D. Also, and alongside Baengnyulsa Temple and Minjangsa Temple, Jungsaengsa Temple was central to the worship of Gwanseeum-bosal during Unified Silla (668-935 A.D.). After this point in history, however, very little is known about Jungsaengsa Temple and when it eventually fell into disrepair. Jungsaengsa Temple would eventually be reconstructed in the 1940’s on the old temple site. And today, there are a handful of temple structures at Jungsaengsa Temple. Jungsaengsa Temple is home to the Rock-Carved…

  • Beomeosa,  Busan

    Gyemyeongam Hermitage – 계명암 (Geumjeong-gu, Busan)

    Hermitage History Gyemyeongam Hermitage is located in Geumjeong-gu, Busan on the Beomeosa Temple grounds. More specifically, it’s located to the northeast of Beomeosa Temple about midway up Gyemyeong-bong Peak (599.8 m), which is part of the Mt. Geumjeongsan (801.5 m) mountain range. Gyemyeongam Hermitage means “Rooster’s Crow Hermitage” in English. The exact date of the hermitage’s founding is unknown. However, it’s believed that the hermitage dates back to Unified Silla (668-935 A.D.). It’s believed that Gyemyeongam Hermitage gets its name from when Uisang-daesa (625-702 A.D.) was searching for a temple site one night when he heard a rooster crow. Gyemyeongam Hermitage was reconstructed after 1592 after the Imjin War (1592-1598).…

  • Gyeongju

    Wonwonsa Temple – 원원사 (Gyeongju)

    Temple History Wonwonsa Temple is located in the southeastern part of Gyeongju and east of Mt. Bongseosan (360.8 m). Wonwonsa Temple was first built during Unified Silla (668-935 A.D.). The temple is believed to have first been built by the monks Anhye and Nangyung, who were esoteric Buddhist monks, as well as Kim Yu-sin (595-673 A.D.), Kim Ui-won and Kim Sul-jong. In fact, and alongside Sacheonwangsa Temple and Geumgwangsa Temple, Wonwonsa Temple was a leading esoteric Buddhist temple during Unified Silla and the early part of the Goryeo Dynasty (918-1392). And much like other temples built at this time during the early part of Unified Silla like Gameunsa Temple and…

  • Busan

    Geumsansa Temple – 금산사 (Gijang-gun, Busan)

    Temple History Geumsansa Temple is located in Gijang-gun, Busan, and it belongs to the Jogye-jong Order. The temple was first established in October, 1990 by the monk Geumsan; and hence, where the temple gets its name. In January, 2004, the temple added a large Reclining Buddha image inside the main hall. Also, and it’s unclear of the connection between the two, but the Sanshin-do (Mountain Spirit Mural) of Geumsansa Temple is Busan Cultural Heritage Property #85 as of 2015. The painting of Sanshin dates back to 1856. And it’s a wonderful example of a mid-19th century shaman painting. It’s unclear of the paintings present location. Temple Layout You first approach…

  • Gyeongju

    Sambulsa Temple – 삼불사 (Gyeongju)

    Temple History Sambulsa Temple, which means “Three Buddhas Temple” in English, is located on the northwest side of Mt. Namsan (494 m) in Gyeongju, Gyeongsangbuk-do. It’s believed that the stone triad dates back to the early 7th century. They are believed to be the oldest full-sized stone Buddhist statues in Gyeongju. In fact, they are believed to be some of the earliest examples of Buddhist art in all of Korea. Sambulsa Temple was constructed in 1923 to house the Stone Standing Buddha Triad in Bae-dong. The historic triad is Korean Treasure #63. Originally, the Stone Standing Buddha Triad in Bae-dong was located further up the mountain at the Seonbangsa-ji Temple…

  • North Korea

    Paeyopsa-ji Temple Site – 패엽사지 (Sincheon, Hwanghaenam-to, North Korea)

    Temple History Paeyopsa-ji Temple Site [Paeyeopsa-ji Temple Site] is located in Sinchon [Sincheon], Hwanghaenam-to, North Korea on Mt. Kuwolsan (954 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. As for Mt. Kuwolsan, it gets its name from the ninth month of the lunar calendar, which is when the mountain is considered to be at its most beautiful. The area is especially popular with North Korean travelers during the summer months. Additionally, Mt. Kuwolsan [Mt. Guwolsan] is famous for its relation to Dangun, who was the legendary founder of Korea. According to…