Korean Temples for the Enjoyment of Beautiful Winter Snow Scenes
07-24-2018    www.koreanbuddhism.net
<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt" align=center><SPAN lang=EN-US><STRONG><BR>Baekdam Temple in Mt. Seorak<BR><BR><BR>Jeongam Temple in Mt. Taebaek</STRONG></SPAN></P>

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<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt"><SPAN lang=EN-US><A href="http://www.koreanbuddhism.net/">www.koreanbuddhism.net</A>, December 7, 2006</SPAN></P>

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<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt"><SPAN lang=EN-US>Five skandhas or aggregates are empty, but doesn't the white color signify purity and emptiness as well? November 22 was "the minor snow", one of the 24 cosmic terms of the year in the lunar calendar in <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" /><st1:place w:st="on"><st1:country-region w:st="on">Korea</st1:country-region></st1:place>, and, as the term implies, it is the harbinger of the snowy season. When we look at the mountains covered with beautiful white snow, it seems that all the dust accumulated in our mind is melting away.</SPAN></P>

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<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt"><SPAN lang=EN-US>There are 10 noted mountains in <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:country-region w:st="on">Korea</st1:country-region></st1:place>. They are Baekdu (white head), Geumgang (diamond), Halla, Seorak (snow mountain), Jiri (extraordinary wisdom), Songri (cessation of the mundane world), Odae (five foundations), Taebaek (great white), Geryong (cock and dragon), and Bukhan (the north of the capital). Except Baekdu and Geumgang, they are all located in the southern part of the Korean peninsula.</SPAN></P>

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<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt"><st1:PlaceName w:st="on"><B style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal"><SPAN lang=EN-US>Baekdam</SPAN></B></st1:PlaceName><B style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal"><SPAN lang=EN-US> <st1:PlaceType w:st="on">Temple</st1:PlaceType> in <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:PlaceType w:st="on">Mt.</st1:PlaceType> <st1:PlaceName w:st="on">Seorak</st1:PlaceName></st1:place><o:p></o:p></SPAN></B></P>

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<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt"><SPAN lang=EN-US>Baekdam (hundred ponds) <st1:City w:st="on">Temple</st1:City> is the most well known temple in the interior region of the <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:PlaceType w:st="on">Mt.</st1:PlaceType> <st1:PlaceName w:st="on">Seorak</st1:PlaceName></st1:place>. This temple is located by the up stream of the Baekdam creek where the two streams flowing down from <st1:City w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Gaya</st1:place></st1:City> and Gugok creeks meet. This temple is also the gateway to the mountain climbing of the interior region of <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:PlaceType w:st="on">Mt.</st1:PlaceType> <st1:PlaceName w:st="on">Seorak</st1:PlaceName></st1:place>. There are eight mountain trails around the temple.</SPAN></P>

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<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt"><SPAN lang=EN-US>This thousand years old temple was first built by Preceptor Jajang during the Silla Dynasty, and it is also well known temple where the patriot-priest Manhae Han Yong-un wrote his famous poem "The Silence of Love".</SPAN></P>

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<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt"><st1:PlaceName w:st="on"><B style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal"><SPAN lang=EN-US>Gwaneum</SPAN></B></st1:PlaceName><B style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal"><SPAN lang=EN-US> <st1:PlaceType w:st="on">Temple</st1:PlaceType> in <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:PlaceType w:st="on">Mt.</st1:PlaceType> <st1:PlaceName w:st="on">Halla</st1:PlaceName></st1:place><o:p></o:p></SPAN></B></P>

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<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt"><st1:PlaceType w:st="on"><SPAN lang=EN-US>Mt.</SPAN></st1:PlaceType><SPAN lang=EN-US> <st1:PlaceName w:st="on">Halla</st1:PlaceName> is the highest mountain (<st1:chmetcnv w:st="on" TCSC="0" NumberType="1" Negative="False" HasSpace="False" SourceValue="1950" UnitName="m">1950m</st1:chmetcnv> above the sea level) in <st1:country-region w:st="on">South Korea</st1:country-region>, which is also the trademark of <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:PlaceName w:st="on">Jeju</st1:PlaceName> <st1:PlaceType w:st="on">Island</st1:PlaceType></st1:place>. It was sometimes called the <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:PlaceType w:st="on">mountain</st1:PlaceType> of <st1:PlaceName w:st="on">Buddhas</st1:PlaceName></st1:place> because there once were 500 temples and Buddha statues in this mountain. This temple, one of the 23 District Head Temples of the Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism, is also, as it is with <st1:PlaceName w:st="on">Baekdam</st1:PlaceName> <st1:PlaceType w:st="on">Temple</st1:PlaceType> in <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:PlaceType w:st="on">Mt.</st1:PlaceType> <st1:PlaceName w:st="on">Seorak</st1:PlaceName></st1:place>, one of the gateways of the five hiking trails to the peak of the mountain.</SPAN></P>

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<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt"><st1:PlaceName w:st="on"><B style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal"><SPAN lang=EN-US>Beopju</SPAN></B></st1:PlaceName><B style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal"><SPAN lang=EN-US> <st1:PlaceType w:st="on">Temple</st1:PlaceType> in <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:PlaceType w:st="on">Mt.</st1:PlaceType> <st1:PlaceName w:st="on">Songri</st1:PlaceName></st1:place><o:p></o:p></SPAN></B></P>

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<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt"><SPAN lang=EN-US>This mountain is famous for its many mountain peaks surrounding the temple. There are eight gates and eight mountain peaks: the inner stone gate, the outer stone gate, Sanghwan stone gate, Sang-go stone gate, Sang-go outer stone gate, Virocana stone gate, Diamond stone gate, Churae stone gate, and Munjang peak, Ipseok peak, Gyeongup peak, Baeseok peak, Hakso peak, Eunseok peak, Phoenix peak, Sanho peak, which all add to the beauty of the snow scenes of the mountain. Departing from the temple is the basic route to all the hiking trails in the <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:PlaceType w:st="on">Mt.</st1:PlaceType> <st1:PlaceName w:st="on">Songri</st1:PlaceName></st1:place>.</SPAN></P>

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<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt"><st1:PlaceName w:st="on"><B style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal"><SPAN lang=EN-US>Hwaeom</SPAN></B></st1:PlaceName><B style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal"><SPAN lang=EN-US> <st1:PlaceType w:st="on">Temple</st1:PlaceType> in <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:PlaceType w:st="on">Mt.</st1:PlaceType> <st1:PlaceName w:st="on">Jiri</st1:PlaceName></st1:place><o:p></o:p></SPAN></B></P>

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<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt"><st1:PlaceName w:st="on"><SPAN lang=EN-US>Hwaeom</SPAN></st1:PlaceName><SPAN lang=EN-US> <st1:PlaceType w:st="on">Temple</st1:PlaceType>, one of the 23 District Head Temples of the Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism, is the largest of the many temples in <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:PlaceType w:st="on">Mt.</st1:PlaceType> <st1:PlaceName w:st="on">Jiri</st1:PlaceName></st1:place> with many cultural assets. You can smell the fragrance of the thousand years old temple when you pass the One Pillar Gate, the Diamond Deva Gate, the Gate of Four Heavenly Guardians until you finally arrive at the Boje Pavilion.</SPAN></P>

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<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt"><SPAN lang=EN-US>This temple was well known for the departing point for the mountain hiking in the Jiri mountain until the completion of the <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:PlaceName w:st="on">Sung</st1:PlaceName> <st1:PlaceName w:st="on">Sang</st1:PlaceName> <st1:PlaceType w:st="on">Pass</st1:PlaceType></st1:place> road. The Nogo <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:PlaceType w:st="on">peak</st1:PlaceType> of <st1:PlaceName w:st="on">Mt.</st1:PlaceName></st1:place> Jiri is about <st1:chmetcnv w:st="on" TCSC="0" NumberType="1" Negative="False" HasSpace="False" SourceValue="1200" UnitName="m">1,200m</st1:chmetcnv> above the sea level from the temple, and the mountain trail from the temple to is noted for its steep climb straight to the mountain peak, so steep that it is called "the nose pass."</SPAN></P>

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<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt"><st1:PlaceName w:st="on"><B style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal"><SPAN lang=EN-US>Woljeong</SPAN></B></st1:PlaceName><B style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal"><SPAN lang=EN-US> <st1:PlaceType w:st="on">Temple</st1:PlaceType> in <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:PlaceType w:st="on">Mt.</st1:PlaceType> <st1:PlaceName w:st="on">Odae</st1:PlaceName></st1:place><o:p></o:p></SPAN></B></P>

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<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt"><st1:place w:st="on"><st1:PlaceType w:st="on"><SPAN lang=EN-US>Mt.</SPAN></st1:PlaceType><SPAN lang=EN-US> <st1:PlaceName w:st="on">Odae</st1:PlaceName></SPAN></st1:place><SPAN lang=EN-US> is noted for its beautiful scenery with the excellent natural surroundings of holy land where fifty-thousands Bodhisattvas are residing, according to the legend. The best winter snow-scenery of <st1:PlaceType w:st="on">Mt.</st1:PlaceType> <st1:PlaceName w:st="on">Odae</st1:PlaceName> is the view along the ridge from the main <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:PlaceType w:st="on">peak</st1:PlaceType> of <st1:PlaceName w:st="on">Vairocana</st1:PlaceName></st1:place> to the thick bush of japonica and the giant dead trees.</SPAN></P>

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<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt"><SPAN lang=EN-US>It is highly recommendable to visit the snow-capped bush of fir trees that form the snow-flower tunnel of <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:PlaceName w:st="on">Woljeong</st1:PlaceName> <st1:PlaceType w:st="on">Temple</st1:PlaceType></st1:place>, Sangwon Monastery, the Hall of Sublime Equanimity where the genuine sarira of Shakyamuni Buddha is enshrined, and then the Vairocana peak, the highest point of the mountain.</SPAN></P>

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<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt"><st1:PlaceName w:st="on"><B style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal"><SPAN lang=EN-US>Jeongam</SPAN></B></st1:PlaceName><B style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal"><SPAN lang=EN-US> <st1:PlaceType w:st="on">Temple</st1:PlaceType> in <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:PlaceType w:st="on">Mt.</st1:PlaceType> <st1:PlaceName w:st="on">Taebaek</st1:PlaceName></st1:place><o:p></o:p></SPAN></B></P>

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<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt"><SPAN lang=EN-US>You can see not only the fine prospect of the temple but also the whole vista of the Taebaek mountain from the Sumano stupa on the hill behind the Hall of Sublime Equanimity. The Sumano stupa is believed to have built with the agate obtained from the King of Dragon under the Yellow Sea by Preceptor Jajang when he was sailing back home from China where he studied at Mt. Odae.</SPAN></P>

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<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt"><SPAN lang=EN-US>The Sumano stupa is more celebrated because of the genuine sarira of Shakyamuni Buddha which is enshrined in the stupa, whereas the temple is designated as one of the five Halls of Sublime Equanimity in our country.</SPAN></P>

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<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt"><st1:PlaceName w:st="on"><B style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal"><SPAN lang=EN-US>Donghak</SPAN></B></st1:PlaceName><B style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal"><SPAN lang=EN-US> <st1:PlaceType w:st="on">Temple</st1:PlaceType> in <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:PlaceType w:st="on">Mt.</st1:PlaceType> <st1:PlaceName w:st="on">Geryong</st1:PlaceName></st1:place><o:p></o:p></SPAN></B></P>

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<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt"><st1:PlaceName w:st="on"><SPAN lang=EN-US>Donghak</SPAN></st1:PlaceName><SPAN lang=EN-US> <st1:PlaceType w:st="on">Temple</st1:PlaceType> is famous for its long tradition of <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:PlaceName w:st="on">Bhikkuni</st1:PlaceName> <st1:PlaceName w:st="on">Buddhist</st1:PlaceName> <st1:PlaceType w:st="on">Academy</st1:PlaceType></st1:place>. The hiking trail starting from the temple to Eunseon fall which extends to 7.l km, is well-known. But in the snowy winter, the mountain climbers prefer the course that connects the valleys of Danghak and <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:PlaceName w:st="on">Gap</st1:PlaceName> <st1:PlaceType w:st="on">Temples</st1:PlaceType></st1:place> instead of taking the course along the steep ridge of the peaks.</SPAN></P>

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<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt"><B style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal"><SPAN lang=EN-US>Jin-gwan Temple in Mt. Bukhan<o:p></o:p></SPAN></B></P>

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<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt"><st1:PlaceName w:st="on"><SPAN lang=EN-US>Jin-gwan</SPAN></st1:PlaceName><SPAN lang=EN-US> <st1:PlaceType w:st="on">Temple</st1:PlaceType> is beloved <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:PlaceType w:st="on">temple</st1:PlaceType> of <st1:PlaceName w:st="on">Seoul</st1:PlaceName></st1:place> citizens with three other temples around the capital. They are <st1:PlaceName w:st="on">Buram</st1:PlaceName> <st1:PlaceType w:st="on">Temple</st1:PlaceType> to the east, <st1:PlaceName w:st="on">Sammak</st1:PlaceName> <st1:PlaceType w:st="on">Temple</st1:PlaceType> to the south, <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:PlaceName w:st="on">Seungga</st1:PlaceName> <st1:PlaceType w:st="on">Temple</st1:PlaceType></st1:place> to the north. The beautiful Bukhan mountain is designated as the national park with many cultural assets and historical sites. Besides Jin-gwan and <st1:PlaceName w:st="on">Seungga</st1:PlaceName> <st1:PlaceType w:st="on">Temples</st1:PlaceType>, there are many other famous old temples in <st1:PlaceType w:st="on">Mt.</st1:PlaceType> <st1:PlaceName w:st="on">Bukhan</st1:PlaceName> including Doseon and <st1:PlaceName w:st="on">Hwage</st1:PlaceName> <st1:PlaceType w:st="on">Temples</st1:PlaceType>, all beloved by <st1:City w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Seoul</st1:place></st1:City> citizens.</SPAN></P>
Editor: Wang Xinyu
   
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