• 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

    Jusaam Hermitage – 주사암 (Gyeongju)

    Hermitage History The little known Jusaam Hermitage is located on Mt. Obongsan (632.8 m) in western Gyeongju, Gyeongsangbuk-do. Jusaam Hermitage is a branch temple of the famed Bulguksa Temple, and it was purportedly founded by Uisang-daesa (625-702 A.D.) during the reign of King Munmu of Silla (r. 661-681 A.D.). As for how the hermitage got its name, it’s related to a myth that’s told in the “Shinjeungdonggukyeoji Seungram.” There’s another myth concerning Jusaam Hermitage and why it’s located where it is. While constructing the Busanseong Fortress in 663 A.D., which is Korean Historic Site #25, Uisang-daesa predicted that if the hermitage was placed inside the fortress, the Silla Dynasty would…

  • Daegu

    Cheongryeonam Hermitage – 청련암 (Dalseong-gun, Daegu)

    Hermitage History Cheongryeonam Hermitage, which means “Blue Lotus Hermitage” in English, is located to the east of the main temple, Namjijangsa Temple, in Dolseong, Daegu. Both the temple and the hermitage are situated to the south of Mt. Choijeongsan (905 m). Like Namjijangsa Temple, Cheongryeonam Hermitage was first constructed in 684 A.D. by the monk Yanggae. Both were built on the behest of King Sinmun of Silla (r. 681-692 A.D.). And like the neighbouring Namjijangsa Temple, Cheongryeonam Hermitage was completely destroyed by the invading Japanese during the Imjin War (1592-1598). In fact, and during the Imjin War, Cheongryeonam Hermitage was used as a training centre for monks that were led…

  • Korean Buddhism Orders and Sects

    Silsangsan Sect – Silsangsa Temple (Namwon, Jeollabuk-do)

    The Silsangsan sect was headquartered out of Silsangsa Temple, or “True Nature Temple” in English, in Namwon in present-day Jeollabuk-do in the northern part of the famed Jirisan National Park. The founding patriarch of the Silsangsan sect was Hongcheok-guksa (fl. 830 A.D.), who built Silsangsa Temple to help spread the teachings of Seon Buddhism. Hongcheok-guksa learned under Zhizang (735-814 A.D.). The sect was first founded in 828 A.D. Hongcheok-guksa was posthumously named Jeunggak. Both Hongcheok-guksa’s stupa and stele can be found to this day on the temple grounds of Silsangsa Temple. In the early 800’s, Hongcheok traveled to Tang China (618–690, 705–907 A.D.). He did this to help further his…

  • Gyeongju

    Yongjangsa-ji Temple Site – 용장사지 (Gyeongju)

    Temple Site History Yongjangsa-ji Temple Site is located up the Yongjanggol Valley in Gyeongju, Gyeongsangbuk-do. The valley, which is named after the former temple, is the longest and deepest of the valleys on Mt. Namsan. The exact date of the temple is unknown. However, and because of archaeological evidence, we know that Yongjangsa Temple must have existed during the early Unified Silla (668-935 A.D.). We also know that it existed until at least the 15th century because it was where the scholar and poet Kim Si-seup (1435-1493) lived and wrote the Geumo Sinhwa, or “The New Stories of the Golden Turtle” in English. As for Kim Si-seup, he was one…

  • Gyeonggi-do

    Silleuksa Temple – 신륵사 (Yeoju, Gyeonggi-do)

    Temple History Silleuksa Temple, which means “Divine Bridle Temple,” in English, is located in Yeoju, Gyeonggi-do. The origins of the temple are rather hazy. Lost in the fog of time. It’s believed by some that the temple was established during the reign of King Jinpyeong of Silla (r.579-632 A.D.). On the other hand, some believe that the temple was founded by the famed monk, Wonhyo-daesa (617-686 A.D.). As for the name of the temple itself, and according to temple legend, there was an uncontrollable horse that was reined in by the power of the Buddha. In 1469, Silleuksa Temple became the prayer sanctuary to the royal mausoleum to the great…

  • Gyeongsangnam-do,  Video

    Video: Sinheungsa Temple – 신흥사 (Yangsan, Gyeongsangnam-do)

    Hello Again Everyone!! Sinheungsa Temple in Yangsan, Gyeongsangnam-do has one of the more mysterious origins. Purportedly, the temple was built in 301 A.D. and later destroyed. However, according to Korean tradition, Buddhism didn’t enter the Korean peninsula until 372 A.D. in the northern kingdom of Goguryeo. The only possible answer is that Queen Heo of the Gaya Kingdom, who was Indian in origin and married King Suro, brought Buddhism with her to the peninsula and helped influence its spread earlier on than once thought. This is one potential answer. In addition to the temple’s mysterious history, the temple is filled with beautiful Buddhist artwork, especially in the main hall. Most…

  • Busan

    Samgwangsa Temple – 삼광사 (Busanjin-gu, Busan)

    Temple History Samgwangsa Temple is situated on Mt. Baekyangsan (641.3m) in Busanjin-gu, Busan. Unlike the majority of temples in Korea like neighbouring Beomeosa Temple and Tongdosa Temple, Samgwangsa Temple doesn’t belong to the Jogye-jong Buddhist Order. Instead, it belongs to the third largest Buddhist Order in Korea: Cheontae-jong Order. The temple is a rather recent creation with it being built in 1983. Throughout the years, it has continued to grow with recent additions like the Myeongbu-jeon Hall and the Geukrak-jeon Hall on the upper hillside. Specifically, Samgwangsa Temple is dedicated to the Bodhisattva of Compassion, Gwanseeum-bosal. And Samgwangsa Temple is best known for its lantern festival that it hosts each…

  • Busan

    Haedong Yonggungsa Temple – 해동 용궁사 (Gijang-gun, Busan)

    Temple History Haedong Yonggungsa Temple, which means “Korean Dragon Palace Temple,” in English is a reference to Yongwang (The Dragon King) and the Yonggung (Dragon Palace) that he lives in under the sea. Located in coastal Gijang, Busan, Haedong Yonggungsa Temple has perhaps the most beautiful location for any temple in all of Korea. The temple was first constructed in 1376 by the monk Naong Hyegeun (1320-1376). The temple was built after Naong Hyegeun had a dream. The dream was about the Divine Sea god of the East Sea. During this dream, the Divine Sea god told Naong Hyegeun to build a temple on top of Mt. Bongrae. If Naong…

  • Beomeosa,  Busan

    Beomeosa Temple – 범어사 (Geumjeong-gu, Busan)

    Temple History Beomeosa Temple is located on the northeast side of Mt. Geumjeongsan (801.5) in Geumjeong-gu, Busan. Beomeosa Temple means “Nirvana Fish Temple,” in English. Beomeosa Temple was first established in 678 A.D. by the famed monk, and temple builder, Uisang-daesa (625-702 A.D.). The temple was established as one of the ten major temple sites for the Avatamsaka School (Hwaeom School). The name of the temple relates to the name of the mountain for which Beomeosa Temple is situated. Mt. Geumjeongsan means “Golden Well Mountain,” in English. This comes from the myth that a golden fish descended down from the heavens on a five-coloured cloud and played in a well…