Woljeongsa Temple in Odaesan Mountain

woljeongsa-temple-stone-pagoda9-Storey-Stone Pagoda at Woljeongsa Temple in Odaesan, Gangwondo

Woljeongsa Temple in Odaesan

Woljeongsa, which translates to Moon Jewel Temple, is a Buddhist temple in eastern South Korea.

This ancient temple was first constructed in the 7th century during the Silla dynasty and has since undergone numerous renovations and restorations.

The temple is renowned for its stunning architectural design and picturesque natural surroundings, which include dense forests, rolling hills, and serene streams.

Woljeongsa is also home to several significant Buddhist relics and artifacts, including the stone monument commemorating the temple's founding and a collection of ancient sutras (Buddhist scriptures).

woljeongsa-temple-outer-gateTemple Guardians' gate in Woljeongsa Temple area

Origins & Location

Woljeongsa Temple in Odaesan Mountain is an excellent significance temple revered as the head temple of the Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism.

Nestled amidst the tranquil and picturesque eastern slopes of Odaesan in Pyeongchang County, Gangwon Province, South Korea, this ancient temple is a testament to the region's enduring spiritual and cultural heritage.

Founded by the Silla monk Jajang Yulsa in 643 AD, Woljeongsa has been a beacon of tranquility and spirituality for over a millennium.

The temple complex features a range of stunning architectural styles, including the main hall, which boasts a richly decorated interior, and the Seongbo Museum, which houses an impressive collection of cultural artifacts.

Visitors can also stroll through the beautiful surrounding forests, which are home to various rare plant and animal species.

Whether you are a history buff, a nature lover, or simply seeking a peaceful respite from the bustle of modern life, Woljeongsa is a must-visit destination that will leave you feeling inspired and refreshed.

woljeongsa-temple-pavilion-sideviewWoljeong Temple in Odaesan - Pavilion

The Origin of Devotion to Manjusri Bodhisattva

Jajang Yulsa, a renowned Vinaya Master who lived during the Silla Dynasty, was instrumental in establishing Woljeongsa, a Buddhist temple in South Korea.

During his travels to China, Jajang had a divine encounter with the manifestation of Manjusri Bodhisattva at Taihe Lake in Shanxi Province. Manjusri, a prominent Buddhist figure, bestowed upon Jajang some of the Buddha's cremains, robe, and alms bowl, instructing him to return to Silla.

The bodhisattva promised to meet Jajang again on Mt. Odaesan, northeast of Gyeongju. Jajang returned to Korea and built a temporary hut on Odaesan, praying to meet Manjusri again.

However, his efforts were hindered by inclement weather. Later, Sinhyo Geosa, a layman believed to be the reincarnation of Learned-Youth Bodhisattva, resided there and practiced Buddhism.

Venerable Sinui, a National Preceptor Beomil Guksa disciple, also built a small hut on the same site. Unfortunately, after Sinui's passing, the hut fell into disrepair.

However, when Ven. Yuyeon of Sudasa Temple constructed a hermitage there; the site gained prominence as a proper temple. Woljeongsa Temple, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, stands as a testament to the enduring legacy of Jajang and the many others who contributed to its creation.

woljeongsa-temple-foreground-snowWinter in Woljeongsa Temple, Odaesan Mountain, Gangwon Province

Cultural Heritage & Architecture

Woljeongsa, a temple located in South Korea, is a place of great cultural significance. It is home to several treasures that reflect the rich history and heritage of the region.

Four items have been declared National Treasures, with the Octagonal Nine-Story Stone Pagoda (National Treasure No. 48) being the most notable.

This pagoda stands out for its unique features that reflect the architectural style of the Goguryeo Kingdom, an ancient Korean dynasty that flourished between 37 BCE and 668 CE.

In addition to the National Treasures, there are five other designated treasures at Woljeongsa, including a Seated Stone Bodhisattva (Treasure No. 139).

If you ever get the chance to visit Woljeongsa, take advantage of the opportunity to witness the Octagonal Nine-Story Stone Pagoda, a remarkable structure unlike any other in South Korea.

Serene Natural Surroundings

woljeongsa-temple-icy-roofIcy temple roof of Woljeongsa Temple.

Nestled amidst the picturesque Odaesan mountain range, Woljeongsa temple is a magnificent architectural marvel that has stood the test of time. 

Its rich cultural and historical significance will leave a lasting impression on any visitor to this sacred place. Step into the peaceful surroundings of the temple grounds and lose yourself in the serene ambiance. 

As you stroll around the temple, you will encounter many ancient relics that tell tales of its glorious past. The breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains further enhance the tranquil environment of the temple. 

In the fall, the mountains are a riot of colors, and in spring, the cherry blossoms create a pink wonderland that is a feast for the eyes. 

The Odaesan mountain range is a popular destination for locals and foreign travelers who love to hike. The stunning vistas that open up from the mountain trails are sure to take your breath away. 

So, come and immerse yourself in the majestic beauty of Woljeongsa temple and experience the magic of the Odaesan mountains.

If you ever have the opportunity, consider visiting Woljeongsa Temple in Odaesan Mountain to experience its rich heritage and spiritual ambiance. 🌿🏯

Learn more about Woljeongsa on their official website: Woljeongsa.

Woljeongsa Templestay Program

Join the program on a spiritual journey to explore Buddhism's religious characteristics and embrace Korea's mesmerizing landscape and cultural heritage. 

During the journey, you will experience Yebul, a ceremonial service that pays respect to Gautama Buddha, conducted twice a day - early morning and evening. 

You will also get to indulge in Balwoo Gongyang, a practice of having three daily meals in the temple, which embodies the Buddhist virtue of equality.

Learn about the temple's primary manners during the Temple Etiquette session.

Enjoy a cup of tea with the monks, who will share their wisdom and experience in Tea Time with Monks.

Strike the bell at 6:10 pm daily during the traditional instrument demonstration to learn the art of bell striking.

You will also have the opportunity to participate in 108 Prostrations, where you will experience meditative music and prayers focusing on body movement, which helps you gain inner peace.

Take a meditative forest walk and reconnect with nature. This walk will help you clear your mind and find inner peace. Join us as we embark on this spiritual journey to awaken your soul and enhance your connection with your inner self.

Getting to Woljeongsa Temple in Odaesan

You can use the KTX (high-speed train) from Seoul Station to reach Jinbu Station in Odaesan, sometimes called Odaesan Station. Approximately 10 trains run daily from Seoul, and it takes about 1.5 hours to reach Jinbu. The seat costs 18,700 KRW for adults and 9,300 KRW for children.

You may transfer from Incheon International Airport to Yangyang International Airport. Then, take a bus to the Jinbu Station area and a local bus or taxi to Woljeongsa Temple.

By Bus
Two bus terminals go to Jinbu Bus Terminal, which is closest to Woljeongsa. The first is Dong Seoul Bus Terminal, which takes about 2 hours and 10 minutes, and the second is Seoul Nambu Bus Terminal, which takes about 2 hours and 35 minutes.

Taxi & Bus (from Jinbu Station to Woljeongsa)
If you prefer taking a taxi, it will take you around 10 minutes from Jinbu Bus Terminal to Woljeongsa, and the fare is typically KRW 18,000.

Alternatively, you can take bus #55, which is only 12 daily trips, and get off at the Woljeongsa stop.

Nearby Attractions

There are several nearby attractions that you can visit while you're in Woljeongsa. Jeokmyeol Bogung is within walking distance, while Sangwonsa Temple is around 8.45 kilometers away. If you're interested in winter sports, you can also visit Alpensia Ski Jumping Stadium, which is around 27 kilometers away from Woljeongsa.

Contact Information:

  • Address : Pyeongchang-gun Gangwon-do63, Dongsan-ri, Jinbu-myeon
  • Tel : 010-7304-6692 / Fax : +82-33-334-6606
  • E-mail: woljeongtemple@naver.com


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