Saturday, September 17, 2016

Busan: Beomeosa Temple

While researching for sights to see in Busan, two temples would often come up: Haedong Yonggungsa Temple and Beomeosa Temple. I had visited Haedong Yonggungsa Temple in 2014, so this time it was Beomeosa Temple that I paid a visit to.

Beomeosa Temple is located at Geumjeong mountain in the northern part of Busan, quite a long way from where I was staying—a 40–minute subway ride then a bus ride and an uphill hike to the temple. But it was worth it. You might think if you've seen one temple, you've seen it all. Maybe so. But there was something about Beomeosa that made me think otherwise.

Maybe it's the fact that Beomeosa Temple was built in 678 (and destroyed in 1592 then renovated in 1713). Maybe it's the colorful lanterns they have hung in preparation for Buddha's birthday. Maybe it's the one–pillared gate called Jogyemun (Treasure No 1416) that greeted me at the temple entrance. Maybe it's all the other Treasures around the temple: the three–story stone pagoda, the Daeungjeon Hall, and the three slightly smiling Buddhas. Maybe it's the detailed paintings on the temple buildings. Maybe it's the peace and quiet. Maybe it's the backdrop of beautiful clear blue sky and green mountains. Maybe it's all these. Yes, it's all these that made me glad I came to visit Beomeosa Temple.

Four Guardians Gate

One of the four guardians

Lecture Hall

Daeungjeon Hall (center)

The sky and mountain make a beautiful backdrop

Beomeosa Temple

Tip: If you want to experience staying in a temple, Beomeosa Temple has a weekend temple stay program where you can stay a night at the temple, attend Buddhist services and meditation, make prayer beads, eat monastic meals, and have tea with a monk.

Directions to Beomeosa Temple:
Take Busan Subway Line 1 to Beomeosa Station, Exit 5 or 7. Walk along Cheongnyongyejeon-ro for about 5 minutes until you reach the bus terminal. Take Bus 90 to Beomeosa Temple. Going back to the station, you don't have to cross the street to ride the bus again; the road around Beomeosa is one way.

South Korea on Three

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