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Buddhist Temples Northern Area of Korea

Buddhist Temples Northern ...

The following list presents some of the Buddhist temples that can be found in the northern part of South Korean in alphabetical order by area.

GANGWON Province:

Naksan-sa was built by Uisangdaesa (a revered Buddhist monk) in 676 and contains many interesting things to see.

Directions: Yangyang -> National Road #7 towards Sokcho -> Naksan Beach entrance
Note: a fire in 2005 destroyed many of the temple's building. Restoration should be completed within 4 or 5 years.

Odaesan Sangwon-sa contains three of Korea's National Treasures, among them the country's older bronze bell (Treasure #36 - dongjong) and is located in Odae-san National Park.

Admission: included in the park admission fee.
Park fees: 
- Individual: Age 19 or over: 3,400 won / 13-18: 1,300 won / 7-12: 700 won
- Group: Age 19 or over: 3,200 won / 13-18: 1,100 won / 7-12: 55o won
* Groups are more than 30 persons
Directions:  At Jinbu, take Mt. Odaesan bound bus (12 times a day / 10 min ride) and get off at Mt. Odaesan.

Odaesan Woljeong-sa is known for its beautiful park, especially for its thick fir tress and for the valley, where snow often stays until May. The temple is located within Odae-san National Park. For admission fee information and directions, see Odaesan Sangwon-sa above.

Sinheung-sa was originally built in 652 but has been destroyed by fire and rebuilt a number of times. It has a 3-story pagoda that is National Treasure #443. Its TongilDaeBul (statue) is the largest sitting bronze statue in the world; construction began in 1987 and finished when the eyes were placed on the smiling face in 1997.

Admission: Admission is included in Seorak-san National Park admission
Directions: Yangyang -> National Road #7 -> Naksan -> Mulchi thre-eway junction -> turn left -> parking lot of Seorak-san entrance.

GYEONGGI Province:

Silleuk-sa is believed to have been build in the early years of the Joseon Dynasty, around 1468. There is also a monument here to General Won Ho.

Adults: 2,000 won (Groups: 1,500 won)
Youths, Junior, high school students: 1,500 won (Groups: 1,300 won)
Parking fee
Elementary school students: 1,000 won (Groups: 800 won)
Directions: Gyeongbu Expressway/Jungbu Expressway -> Yeongdong Expressway, Yeoju Tollgate -> National Road #37 -> turn right at the terminal crossroad -> Yeoju Daegyo (Bridge) -> pass Yeoju Daegyo (Bridge) and turn right -> Silleuk-sa


Jeondeung-sa, located near Ganghwa-eup, has several legends associated with it. Here's one: The four corners of the eaves of Daeungbo-jeon have sculptures of a nude woman. According to one legend, a carpenter named Dongnyang fell in love with a woman while working on the temple and entrusted all his money to her. Before the completion of the temple, she eloped with another man and took all of Dongnyang's money. Upset by this, Dongnyang sculpted her likeness into the roof supports, forcing her effigies to repent by listening to the Buddhist invocations from inside the temple. And another: In the front courtyard of Jeondeung-sa stands a 600 year-old gingko tree, which previously bore many gingkoes. According to one story, a greedy new mayor levied too much money on the local people. The head monk prayed for the tree to bear enough fruit to pay the higher tax. One day the sky became dark with rain. Lightning set fire to the tree. Since then, the tree has never borne fruit. The tree has several scorched spots and serves to remind people who are tempted towards greed
Admission: Free
- Take Jeondeung-sa local road #84 (formerly local road #301)
- There is a bus from Sinchon terminal to Jeondeung-sa.

K4E Notes: Most temples are open for visits during daylight hours only, except for special occasions. Generally between 9AM and about 5-6PM.
Source: Much of the information above is from Life in Korea. Please check out the site for more details on the temples: http://www.lifeinkorea.com or contact KTO's 1330 (02-1330 from a cell phone) for more details regarding hours and directions.

If you note that a particular temple you know is missing from this list, please email us at info@korea4expats.com with information so that we can add it.

Photo: Naksan-sa

Last Updated on 2011-01-26

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