When headed to Busan or the surrounding area, a great add on to your trip is a visit to the magestic Beomeosa Temple just beyond the city’s northern suburbs. The Beomeosa Temple is one of Korea’s largest temples, dating back to 678 A.D.
To get to the entry gates, you cross over a beautiful arched bridge and mountain brook. At the entry way/gates, which is known as the Gate of the Heavenly Kings, you will be faced with a 7th century three-stone pagoda, which was built some time during the Silla era, around 826-836 A.D. and the main temple hall, which was built around 1614.
Beomeosa is a head temple of the Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism in Cheongnyong-dong, Geumjeong-gu, Busan, South Korea. Built on the slopes of Geumjeongsan, it is one of the country’s most known urban temples. Built by the great priest UiSang during the reign of King MunMu, it is one of ten HwaEom temples in Korea. It was established to realize the purpose of HwaEom which pursues life full of happiness and generosity.
Along with HaeInsa and TongDosa, Beomeosa is one of the three largest temples in Young Nam province, and home to Buddhist cultural assets and famous great priests. Great masters including UiSang, WonHyo, PyoHun, NangBaek, MyungHak, GyeongHeo, YongSeong, SeongWol, YongUn, and DongSan had studied and practiced here. Master priest DongSan had led Buddhist Purification Movement and worked as driving force for modern Buddhism in Korea.
SeonChalDaeBonSan means a place where people can meditate and clear their mind. Through meditation, all useless ideas can be vanished and people can look into their true inner-self and realize their Buddhist mind. When Buddhist priest SeongWol worked as the abbot of Beomeosa during the Greater Korean Empire period, the priest declared Beomeosa as main temple practicing meditation and invited great Buddhist priest GyeongHeo as the master teacher for Beomeosa Zen center.
There are three jewel monasteries.The Buddha jewel monastery is Tongdosa, the Dharma jewel monastery is Haeinsa, and the Sangha jewel monastery is Songgwangsa. Beomeosa is the fourth Meditation (Seon) jewel monastery where people can find the root of their arising thought and mind.
Yo Gye Mun Gate, which is also called as Il Ju Gate or One-Pillar Gate, was built in a row with stone pillar by Master Myo Jeon. It is the first door that leads to the sacred world of Buddha. As the world of truth has no discrimination, it is said that people coming into the door have to leave their discriminative ideas behind. The hanging board reads “SeonChalDaeBonSan Beomeosa” and the gate is the best gate ever founded in Korea, being designated as treasure.
A walk through this remarkable temple is highly worth doing and is a must do for your Busan/South Korea trip. Not only is the temple itself magestic and beautiful but so are the views beyond it. Go for a walk with me and see why it gets a major two thumbs up from this well-versed traveler.
Inside, they pray of course.
Just at the entrance where people leave their shoes behind.
Also a nice day trip from the city of Busan is to the Gaedong Yonggunsa Temple (below), where you’ll pass the beautiful Korean countryside to get there. It is one of the most striking landmarks in Busan thanks to its unusual location by the sea. You climb 108 steps to the entrance, past statues of Buddha and along a dramatic rocky backdrop. You can also head to Dongbaekseom Island from here and see the stunning APEC House, which was built for the 2005 APEC Economic Leader’s Meeting. Also here is the Mermaid Statue, which is surrounded by dense pine trees.
Busan, South Korea
All photos Renee Blodgett, except for of the Gaedong Yonggunsa Temple, which was taken from flickr, name not noted.