Bongwonsa Temple (or Bongwon Temple) is a Buddhist temple in Bongwon-dong, Seodaemun-gu, Seoul, South Korea. It nestles by the hillside near Yonsei University Campus.
It is a tranquil temple amidst the verdant environment and a quick escape from the noise and bustling capital city--Seoul.
More than fifty Buddhist monks are residing at the temple. They are all active in religious education activities as well as in social welfare programs.
The temple is located in a lovely setup surrounded naturally by trees, plants, rocks, and hillside features.
Check out the temple in the Springtime when the foliage comes alive, making the temple an excellent spot to explore.
Bongwonsa Temple is to the northeast of the University on the hill of Ahn Mountain (or Anhsan). Bongwonsa is the head temple of the Taego Order of Korean Buddhism.
It was founded in 889 by Master Doseon but was moved to its present area in 1748.
Part of the temple was ruined in 1950 throughout the Korean War. In 1966 a new hall (temple) was constructed, but this was later on transferred to another part of the city.
In 1991 while a brand-new temple of 3000 Buddhas was constructed. Unfortunately, a fire damaged the Main Buddha Hall (or Daeungjeon Hall), which was restored in 1994.
(Shocking side story: In 2004, it was discovered that serial killer Yoo Young-Cheol had buried over one dozen bodies of his victims on the temple grounds.)
Bongwonsa Temple (weblink) is a Buddhist temple going back 1,000 years ago. The temple was called Banyasa when established by Master Dosun in 889.
It was initially built on the grounds of the modern Yonsei University Campus in Seoul.
In 1592, during the Japanese invasion of Korea, the temple was destroyed, like many other buildings at that time.
It was later restored in its existing location as well as renamed in 1748, during the 24th year of the reign of King Yeongjo. It was Jeungam and Chanjeup, the prominent monks of the temple, who gave its present name, Bongwonsa.
Throughout the Korean War in the 1950s, some of the structures were destroyed or burned down. The main Buddha Hall was rebuilt in 1994 after a fire ravaged it in 1991.
Every year on June 6, a Buddhist ritual known as Yeongsanjae Ceremony happens right here. This ritual, which includes music as well as dancing. The main objective of this religious ritual is for the reunification of Korea as well as for global peace.
Another more exciting event happens annually during summertime. It is the Seoul Lotus Blossom Culture Event.
A lotus flower is an essential symbol of Buddhism. It is the typical representative of nature being used during prayers and meditation.
If you are interested in exploring nature and a religious site at the same time, Bongwonsa Temple could be the right place for you when in the Seoul area.
Enjoy your travels, and be safe and happy at the same time!