Temple Information 'Hwagyesa'

  • Address : Gangbuk-Gu Seoul487 Suyu 1-Dong
  • Tel : 010-4042-4326 / Fax : 82-2-903-5770
  • E-mail : hwagyesa@templestay.com

Templestay Introduction

HwagyesaHwagyesa Temple! Very beautiful and so good for healing and meditation.
A lot of international monks and nuns like to stay in Hwagyesa to practice the Zen Buddhism.
The Temple is located deep in the foothills of Samgaksan Mountain, even being close to the Seoul center. It was founded in 1522 C.E. during the reign of Joseon King Jungjong, in the Buheodong region of Samgaksan, as the hermitage Bodeokam. Bodeokam was a hermitage founded during the beginning of the Goryeo Dynasty in the vicinity of the present Hwagyesa.

Hwagyesa received a lot of support from the Joseon Dynasty's royal family, particularly during the reign of King Gojong, when the Queen Mother and her retainers would frequent go to the temple, so it became known as the “Palace temple.” In addition, in 1933 a group of nine Korean literature scholars stayed at the temple for the conference to finalize the unified orthography of the Korean Hangul alphabet.

But more than anything else, the name Hwagyesa is widely known due to the efforts of the Korean monk Ven. SoongSahn (1927-2004). Ven. SoongSahn started living and practicing at Hwagyesa in the mid 1960’s. During his frequent world travels, he taught more than 50,000 disciples around the globe. There are more than 100 international monks and nuns who ordained under Ven. SoongSahn at Hwagyesa. During his lifetime Ven. SoongSahn came to be revered as a living Buddha, due to his incredible efforts and influence spreading the Dharma abroad. After he entered Nirvana in 2004, the mourners at his funeral and subsequent public cremation were predominantly international monks and nuns.

Hwagyesa’s Templestay Program

Hwagyesa still has many international monks living and practicing. If you participate in the Hwagyesa Templestay program, you can join the practice together with the International Zen Center monks for meditation, mountain hiking and tea drinking. Also, during the Gyeoljae period (three-month meditation retreats every summer and winter), you can join the monastic formal meal, together with the monks and nuns. There are also Dharma Talks in English every Sunday at the International Zen Center.

Hwagyesa does not give the feeling of being in a city, even though it is still technically located in Seoul. Once you pass through the Iljoomun (One Pillar Gate), another world unfolds before you. Whereas outside the Iljoomun all the houses are tightly packed together, inside the temple gate, the forest lined road stretches into the distance. The sound of the water resonating from the valley below, is yet another gift that welcomes the visitor. People often drop by the stream for a short time, just to soak their feet. The practice of 3000 bows, being held every last Saturday Evening of the month is also very well...

Map Service

Hwagyesa's Templestay Program

  • Experience Templestay

    [Hwagyesa] Experience Program


    Experience Templestay Program consists of a Hwagyesa Temple Tour, Meditation, Chanting Ceremony, Tea Time with monk etc. Sometimes making a prayer beads and a lotus lanterns may also be included as pa...

  • One day Templestay

    [Hwagyesa] [Daily] Half Day in Hwagyesa : For more than 10 people


    * Please contact us to attune your schedule (in activities) and reservation date : (02)900-4326 or hwagyets@hanmail.net Hwagyesa Temple is a place where you can experience traditional Korean Buddhist...