Templestay – Jikjisa Temple (Gimcheon, Gyeongsangbuk-do)
Introduction to Temple
Jikjisa Temple is one of the oldest temples in Korea dating back to its founding in 418 A.D. by the monk Ado-hwasang. Jikjisa Temple is located in Gimcheon, Gyeongsangbuk-do at the base of Mt. Hwangaksan (1111.3 m). The name of the temple means “Finger Pointing Temple” in English, and there are three theories as to how the temple got its name. The first states that after first seeing the location, Ado-hwasang pointed to a spot on the mountain and said that a large temple should be built at its base. The second story states that in 936 A.D., Master Neungyeo, while reconstructing the temple, instead of using a ruler to measure the land and the construction materials, used his hands to measure. And the third story refers to the Seon Buddhism teaching of “pointing directly” to the Original Mind (Buddha Nature). Whichever might be true (if any), they only add to the overall mystique of Jikjisa Temple.
While originally much smaller in size, the temple was later rebuilt and expanded by the famed Jajang-yulsa (590-658 A.D.) in 645 A.D. The temple, at this time, was expanded to an impressive forty buildings. Later, and during the reign of King Taejo of Joseon (r. 1392-1398), the temple grew in size, once more, making it the largest in Korea at this time. However, during the destructive Imjin War (1592-1598), numerous monks from Jikjisa Temple, known as the Righteous Army, took up arms to defend the Korean Peninsula. As reprisal, Jikjisa Temple was destroyed by the invading Japanese. In 1602, and after the war had come to an end, Jikjisa Temple was rebuilt; but this time, with only twenty buildings.
More recently, and up until the 1980’s, Jikjisa Temple underwent numerous rebuilds and reconstruction. Now, Jikjisa Temple is one of the eight largest temples in Korea. In total, Jikjisa Temple is home to four Korean Treasures and five surrounding hermitages.
Jikjisa Temple conducts a single Templestay program. This program is a one night, two day program that follows a rather loose schedule, which allows visitors greater time for introspection and relaxation.
For more on Jikjisa Temple.
From the Gimcheon Train Station, you can catch local buses to the temple. You can catch Bus #11, Bus #111, or Bus #112 from the Intercity Bus Terminal that’s to the right of the train station parking lot. The bus ride should take anywhere from 10 to 20 minutes to get to Jikjisa Temple. You can take a bus, or you can simply take a taxi. And if you’re traveling in a group, perhaps this is a better alternative. The taxi ride should cost about 15,000 won. From where the bus drops you off at the bus stop, the walk up to the temple takes about 15 minutes.
Jikjisa Temple conducts a single Templestay program at their temple. It’s a one night, two day program entitled A Little Comma in Your Mind (Relaxing Type) Program. It’s a freer program with less organized activities than some other Templestay programs. Here’s their schedule:
A: A Little Comma in Your Mind (Relaxing Type) Program
|17:45-18:00||Watching a Four Dharma Instruments Performance|
|06:40-08:00||Hiking or Taking a Walk Around the Temple.|
|11:00-11:20||Filling Out an Evaluation Form on Your Experience|
(This schedule is subject to change
Address: 95 Jikjisa-gil, Daehang-myeon, Gimcheon-si, Gyeongsangbuk-do, Republic of Korea
A Little Comma in Your Mind (Relaxing Type) Program – adults – 60,000 won; students (up to 18 years of age) – 50,000 won; pre-schoolers – 30,000
*The cancellation policy is as follows: 7 days before: 100% refund; 4 days before: 60% refund; 2 days before: 30% refund; 1 day before the reservation date there is no refund.
Reservations for A Little Comma in Your Mind (Relaxing Type) Program