Temple Information 'Naksansa'

  • Address : 100, Naksansa-ro, Ganghyeon-myeon, Yangyang-gun, Gwangwon-do
  • Tel : +82 33-672-2798 / Fax : +82-33-671-1445
  • E-mail : naksansa3@templestay.com

Templestay Introduction

Naksan Temple is located at Mountain Obong, one of three famous mountains, with Mountain Gumkang and Mountain Seorak in the east of the Taebaek mountain range. The name of Naksan Temple originated from Mountain Botanakga, where it is believed that Bodhisattva Avolokitesvara (Gwaneum) always resides and gives Dharma. Gwaneum is symbolized as the compassion of Bodhisattva in Mahayana Buddhism. With over 1300 years of history, innumerable Buddhists, regardless of their social positions and status, are continuously visiting this temple to see real relics of Gwaneum. This temple has a breathtaking scenic beauty of nature, the East Sea, with many sacred treasures and cultural heritages. Naksansa has been one of the most holy and attractive places, not only for Buddhists, but also for other ordinary people including foreigners in Korea.
There are many other famous legacies like the landmark statue of Haesu Gwaneumsang (Seaward-Looking Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara Statue is one of the largest statues in Asia), Botajeon, enshrined many kinds of Bodhisattva including seven other Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara such as Chunsu Gwaneum (Sahasrabhuja aryaavalokiresvara with one thousand hands) and Memorial Hall of Venerable Master Uisang, with records and relics related with his achievements. Naksansa is one of the most favorite places with its one thousand year historic temple, sacred treasures and cultural heritages. Most of Buddha’s halls and pavilions in Naksansa were burnt to the ground by a catastrophic forest fire on the 5th of April, 2005. However, in spite the disastrous conflagration, Naksansa, with its thousand year history, is gradually being reconstructed, with the strong support of the people and the Buddhists.

▶ The sacred treasures and cultural heritages in Naksansa

1. Wontongbojeon
It’s the main hall of Bodhisattva and the symbolic structure as the sacred place for Gwaneum belief. This hall is also called Wontongjeon or Gwaneumjeon to enshrine Gwaneumbosal (Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara).

2. Geonchil Gwaneumbosal Seated Statue (Treasure No. 1362)
The statue is enshrined in Wontongbojeon, Naksansa. It’s the seated Avalokitesvara statue, the great compassion of Bodhisattva. In view of the artistic technique of expression, we believed it was made in the early Joseon Dynasty, followed by traditional style in the late Koryo Dynasty. In general, it has good balanced proportions, especially excellent facial expression. Also, the crown of Avalokitesvara has maintained its artistic technique, following the ancient forms. It’s highly regarded as a very important material to study the crown of Buddhist statues in modern days.

3. Chilcheung or Seven Story Stone pagoda (Treasure No. 499)
This pagoda was designated as a national treasure no. 499, located in front of Wontongbojeon. It’s said this pagoda was built when Naksansa was renovated in the years of King Sejo, the Joseon Dynasty. It’s a good material to study pagodas in the Joseon dynasty because it still has the relatively complete shape of a pagoda, including the partly damaged steeple area.

4. Wonjang (Kangwondo Tangible Cultural Heritage No. 34)
These are the surrounding square type walls of Wontongbojeon. They were first built when King Sejo in the early Chosun dynasty ordered more buildings to be constructed in Naksansa, This wall has dual function. It not only separates the holy place from the main hall of Gwaneumbosal, but also gives an artistic effect of space architecture.

5. Botajeon
This hall symbolizes Naksansa as one of the representative holy places of Gwaneum with Wongtongbojeon and Seaward Gwaneum statue. Inside the hall, there are enshrined statues of 7 representative Gwaneum, 32 Eungsin and other 1,500 Gwaneum.

6. The seaward standing Gwaneum statue
It is the most famous, landmark architecture among Buddhist treasures in Naksansa. Visiting this statue for worship has become a fixture in the itinerary of tourists who visit the East Sea.

7. Haesu Gwaneum Gongjoong Saritap (Treasure No. 1723)
This seaward Avalokitestvara mid-aired sarira stupa has been designated as National Treasure No. 1723. Buddha’s jinsinsari (holy sarira of the Buddha) was founded in 2006 when it was under restoration due to the catastrophic mountain fire in 2005. It is said that this stupa was originally built by the great wish of Monk Seokgyeom in 1692.

8. Dongjong (Grand Bell)
It was built by the instruction of King Yejong in the Joseon Dynasty to dedicate to his father, King Sejo, who had close ties with Naksansa in 1469. This bell was one of the historical monuments built before 16th century in the Joseon dynasty and an important historical material to study traditional bells from that time. It was burnt unfortunately by the catastrophic mountain fire in 2005. However, it was restored to its former splendor on October, 2006 and enshrined in the pavilion of Bell.

9. Hongyemun (Kangwondo Tangible Cultural Heritage No. 33)
It is said that this twin, rainbow-shaped, stone gate was built in 1467. At that time, there were 26 counties in Gangwondo. Each one of the stones was sourced from those counties by the instruction of King Sejo from the Joseon dynasty. The pavilion on the gate was built on October, 1963 but was damaged by the catastrophic mountain fire in 2005. It was restored in 2006.

10. Uisangdae (Kangwondo Tangible Cultural Heritage No. 48)
This is the place where the Venerable Master Uisang scouted for a prospective place to build Naksansa, after returning from Dang, China. It’s also the place where he practiced Chamsun (Buddhist meditation). This is one of the eight famous spots in Kwandong (the eastern Korea region). As it has a landscape of singular beauty, located at a hillside fronting the majestic view of the sea, it has been a favorite place for poets in the olden days and still a must-see place when you visit Nasansa nowadays.

11. Sacheonwangmun (The Gate of the four heavenly kings)
This pavilion is a shrine for Sacheonwang (the four heavenly kings or guardians), Dharma (teachings of Buddha), for those who protect the temple, and all Buddhist supporters. It’s amazing that this pavilion was not damaged from the Korean War in 1950 and the catastrophic mountain fire in 2005.

12. Hongryeonam (Kangwondo Cultural Heritage No. 36)
According to the legend, Gwaneum (Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara) appeared to the venerable Master Uisang before he established Naksansa. The venerable Master Uisang came to here all the way from the faraway city of Kyungju, the capital of the Silla Dynasty, with the earnest wish to see Bodhisattva Gwaneum. As he was waiting, he saw a blue bird enter into a stone cave. Regarding it as an auspicious moment, he prayed seven days and nights in front of the cave. Eventually, Gwaneum, on top of a red lotus on the sea appeared to him. On that spot, he built a small temple, a hermitage in the name of Hongryeonam and called the stone cave where the blue bird entered as the cave of Gwaneum.

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Naksansa's Templestay Program

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    [Naksansa] Naksansa Templestay "Dream, follow the trail"


    It’s a program to ease and relax your busy mind by introspection and contemplation. You can enjoy watching the sunrise, reading a book and can freely pray anytime for self-reflection except meal times...