Cheongpyeongsa Temple
in Chuncheon

cheongpyeong-lake-viewCheongpyeong Lake, near Cheongpyeongsa Temple in Chuncheon, Gangwon Province

Cheongpyeongsa Temple in Chuncheon

Cheongpyeongsa Temple, situated in a serene valley surrounded by the verdant hills of Mt. Obongsan, is a perfect getaway from the hustle-bustle of the city in northern Chuncheon, Gangwon-do.

The temple boasts a rich history dating back to the Goryeo Dynasty, and its captivating features, such as the stunning architecture, serene atmosphere, and beautiful natural surroundings, make it a must-visit destination for tourists and locals alike.

If you are a history fan, a nature lover, or a spiritual seeker, Cheongpyeongsa Temple must be on your list.

Now, let's take a closer look at what makes this temple so unique and explore the various attractions and activities you can enjoy during your visit.

Historical Origins

  • Founding Date: Constructed in 973 A.D. by the monk Seunghyeon, it was initially called Baegamseonwon Temple.
  • Reconstruction: In 1068, civil official Yi Ui rebuilt the temple.
  • Legacy of Yi Ja-hyeong: Yi Ui's son, Yi Ja-hyeong, retired as a government official and spent 37 years at the temple, building hermitages, pavilions, and ponds.
  • Renaming: In the mid-16th century, the temple expanded under the monk Bou and was renamed Cheongpyeongsa Temple. The Hoejeonmun Gate was also built during this time.

Cheongpyeongsa Temple is a beautiful Buddhist temple in Chuncheon City, Gangwon Province, South Korea.

Its rich history dates back to the 10th century. The temple was constructed in 973 A.D. by the monk Seunghyeon, and at that time, it was called Baegamseonwon Temple.

The temple was initially built to offer prayers for the people who died in the Silla-Tang War.

temple-buddha-statuesDaeungjeon (Main) Hall

In 1068, civil official Yi Ui rebuilt the temple, and during his time, the temple began to take on its current form.

Yi Ui's son, Yi Ja-hyeong, retired as a government official and spent 37 years at the temple, building hermitages, pavilions, and ponds. His contributions to the temple's construction and development are still celebrated today.

In the mid-16th century, the temple expanded under the monk Bou, who added new structures and renamed it Cheongpyeongsa Temple.

During this time, the Hoejeonmun Gate was also built, and it is considered one of Korea's most beautiful gates.

The temple has been destroyed and rebuilt several times throughout the centuries but has always remained an important site for Buddhists.

Today, the temple is home to many cultural treasures, including a wooden statue of Buddha, a stone pagoda, and a bronze bell.

The temple's peaceful surroundings and stunning architecture make it a popular destination for tourists and locals.

Temple Structures

cheongpyeong-temple-architecture-roof-viewKorean Buddhist temple's design and architecture
  • Geukrakbo-jeon Hall and Samseong-gak Hall were rebuilt in 1977.
  • Daeung-jeon Hall was reconstructed in 1988.
  • Korean Treasure: The Hoejeonmun Gate is Korean Treasure #164.
  • Scenic Site: The Goryeoseonwon Buddhist Garden adds to the temple's allure.

The Geukrakbo-jeon Hall is one of the most prominent structures of the temple. It is a beautifully designed building that was rebuilt in 1977.

The hall houses statues of Buddha and the temple's founding monks. It is a place of great spiritual significance and a popular spot for meditation and prayer.

Another notable temple structure is the Samseong-gak Hall, rebuilt in 1977.

The hall is dedicated to three deities: the Sun, the Moon, and the Stars. It features intricate carvings and beautiful artwork that testify to the incredible artistic skills of ancient Korea.

The Daeung-jeon Hall is another remarkable structure of the temple. It was reconstructed in 1988 and is a magnificent example of traditional Korean architecture.

The hall houses a statue of Buddha and is a place of great spiritual significance for Buddhists.

The Hoejeonmun Gate is a Korean Treasure designated as Korean Treasure #164. The gate is a beautifully designed structure that serves as the main entrance to the temple complex.

The gate features intricate carvings and artwork that are a testament to the incredible artistic skills of ancient Korea.

In addition to its magnificent structures, the Goryeoseonwon Buddhist Garden adds to the temple's allure.

The garden is a beautiful and peaceful place perfect for meditation and relaxation. The garden features various plant species, including several rare and exotic species not found elsewhere in Korea.

Legends of the Temple

Once upon a time, in ancient China, there lived a beautiful Tang princess named Princess Pyeongyang.

She was known for her grace, intelligence, and kindness. One day, she fell in love with a handsome young man, and they promised to marry each other.

Sadly, their happiness was short-lived. The young man was killed in a battle, leaving the princess heartbroken. In her grief, she carried his lifeless body to the mountains and begged the gods to bring him back to life.

Surprisingly, the gods answered her prayers, but not how she expected. The young man was reborn as a snake and clung to the princess wherever she went. At first, she was frightened, but soon she realized the snake was her beloved.

The princess embarked on a journey to find a place where they could live in peace.

She wandered through the valleys and mountains until she came across a serene valley where Cheongpyeongsa Temple would be built. The temple's peaceful atmosphere attracted her, and she felt drawn to it.

Determined to live a peaceful life, Princess Pyeongyang cleansed herself and dressed as a monk. She spent her days meditating and praying, and the snake stayed close to her, never leaving her side.

As time passed, the snake grew weaker and weaker, and the princess knew he would soon die. One day, as she meditated, the snake finally broke free from his physical form and entered Nirvana.

The princess was heartbroken again but knew her beloved had found peace.

She asked her father, the emperor, to build a temple in that serene valley to honor her beloved and remind her of the power of love and devotion.

The emperor agreed, and the Gongju-tap (Princess Pagoda) was built in memory of the princess's beloved.

Admission:

  • Adults: ₩2,000
  • Teenagers: ₩1,200
  • Children: ₩800

Cheongpyeongsa Temple invites you to explore its natural landscape, historical buildings, and spiritual essence. 🏯

Getting to Cheongpyeongsa Temple from Seoul

To reach Cheongpyeongsa Temple from Seoul, you have a few options. Let's explore these...

Step 1: Catch a bus from Dong Seoul Bus Terminal to Chuncheon. Buses run regularly from 6:00 AM to 9:20 PM, taking about 70 minutes.

Step 2: After you arrive in Chuncheon, find a bus stop and board either bus number 11, 12, or 12-1. These buses will take you to Soyang Dam in 20 to 30 minutes. All three buses terminate at Soyang Dam.

Step 3: From Soyang Dam, walk to the dock and catch a ferry to the other side of the dam.

Step 4: Follow the only available path up, and you'll begin your 30-minute hike through a small town with local shops where you can have an affordable lunch.

You'll eventually arrive at the beautiful Cheongpyeongsa Temple in Chuncheon, Gangwon-do.

By Subway (Alternative):

There is a new subway line that connects Seoul to Chuncheon. It takes the same amount of time as the bus. Once you reach Chuncheon, follow the earlier steps to get to Cheongpyeongsa Temple.

Cheongpyeongsa Temple in Chuncheon is a perfect day trip from Seoul, offering a blend of natural beauty and historical significance. Enjoy your visit! 

Sources:

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