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Songgwangsa Temple, Suncheon

(20+ reviews on the web)
Religious Site Tourist Spot
Songgwangsa translation: Spreading Pine Temple; alternates: Songgwang-sa, or Songgwang Sa, or Songkwangsa; also known as: Piney Expanse Monastery; originally: Gilsangsa), one of the three jewels of Korean Buddhism, is located in Jeollanam-do on Mount Songgwangsan on the Korean Peninsula. Situated approximately away from the sea, it is within the Jogyesan Provincial Park.While originally founded in 867, it was established in 1190 by Zen Master Jinul (Chinul). Chinul's meditation teachings evolved from this monastery and contributed significantly to the Zen practice that prevails to this day in Korea. Songgwangsa is considered the "jewel" (Samgharatna) of the Korean monastic community. Though smaller in size, it is considered as the greatest among the trio of the Three Jewel Temples of Korea representing the “the Buddha, the dharma, and the sangha". The other two of the trio, T’ongdo-sa and Haein-sa, are located in South Gyeongsang Province; and represent the Buddha and the dharma, respectively.This monastery, though under the jurisdiction of the Chogye Order in Seoul, functions as an autonomous body. It controls a network of 49 small branch temples whose abbots are chosen from among the monks of the main monastery and who also enjoy a fair degree of independence as long as they function as independent economic units without depending on the main monastery. It currently serves as the head temple for the 21st district of the Jogye Order among the 25 head monasteries of the order. Songgwangsa, one of the oldest Zen temples in Korea, is still very active today as a practice center.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • With the temple of the seoraksan national park the most beautiful temples of korea. We were there in August and there was nobody else visiting, so it is very quiet an you can relax watching those beau...  more »
  • From Suncheon train station, take bus #111, it is long ride 80mins. Frequency of bus is 50mins. You can check the bus schedule time on the bus stop, or from the tourist information kiosk outside the t...  more »
  • The reason I'm giving this a 3, is partly because of my subjective preferences (I do not really enjoy temples despite being a Buddhist), because I didn't feel so much enlightened or what, and also bec...  more »