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Magoksa Temple, Gongju

4.1
World heritage site · Religious Site · Tourist Spot
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Magoksa is a head temple of the Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism in Gongju, South Korea. It is located on the eastern slope of Taehwasan, on taegeuk-shaped bend in the Taegeukcheon Stream.
Magoksa Temple was established in 640 by Vinaya Master Jajang Yulsa, who also built Tongdosa Temple upon his return from China. Silla’s Queen Seondeok then gave him 200 gyeol of land on which he built a brick pagoda and Magoksa Temple. The name “Magoksa” originated with Ven. Bocheol Hwasang, a monk who lived there later, because the way many people gathered to listen to his Dharma talks reminded him of hemp stalks closely packed together.
Magoksa Temple was closed during the turbulent transition period between the Goryeo Dynasty and the Joseon Dynasty. From then on the temple became a hideout for thieves for about 200 years. Finally, in 1172, Ven. Jinul drove out the thieves and renovated the temple with the help of his disciple Ven. Su-u. Joseon’s King Sejo visited the temple and personally wrote the plaque for Yeongsanjeon Hall. The king also left behind the palanquin he rode in on his trip to Magoksa Temple.
During the Japanese invasion, most of the temple’s buildings were burned down. In 1651 some buildings, Daeungjeon, Yeongsanjeon and Daejeok-gwangjeon, were reconstructed. During the period of the Korean Empire, Kim Gu came to Magoksa Temple after escaping from Incheon Prison, and temporarily lived a monastic life under the Dharma name Wonjong. Kim Gu had been imprisoned after killing a Japanese military officer who had conspired with the murderers of Empress Myeongseong. The juniper tree growing in front of Daegwang-bojeon Hall is said to have been planted by Kim Gu himself.
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Magoksa Temple reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.0
35 reviews
Google
4.4
TripAdvisor
  • a very interesting temple, worth a walk, the scenery is nice and breathtaking, a place for meditation as well, also the tea is very good taste, no after taste... best 
    a very interesting temple, worth a walk, the scenery is nice and breathtaking, a place for meditation as well, also the tea is very good taste, no after taste... best  more »
  • I did a temple stay at Beopjusa temple two years ago and really enjoyed it – I was the only person doing the temple stay and the Monks and the volunteers were all incredibly friendly and... 
    I did a temple stay at Beopjusa temple two years ago and really enjoyed it – I was the only person doing the temple stay and the Monks and the volunteers were all incredibly friendly and...  more »
  • to reach the main temple we had to walk about 25 minutes on easy terrain shadowed by the trees and along the sound of water coming from riverside of the track. we supposed to be served with the tea... 
    to reach the main temple we had to walk about 25 minutes on easy terrain shadowed by the trees and along the sound of water coming from riverside of the track. we supposed to be served with the tea...  more »
Google
  • One of the most well known buddhist temple in Korea. There are 7 places of UN designated temples in Korea. One of them. Clear waters and trees in this mountains gladly wellcome you, when you visit here.
  • I came here in winter. the scenery isn't beautiful in winter. next I will come in another season. photos are not allowed inside or in front of the building :( there are many Korean traditional hawker sellers. there are several restaurants too
  • A beautiful Buddha temple with several tracking courses, servicing a temple stay program..
  • A beautiful korean temple, Unesco world cultural heritage.
  • Tea ceremony and meditation with a monk. What a beautiful experience.

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