Thousand Year Old Temple
This week we would like to recommend a historic destination rich in culture and fables, located in the head of Gangwon Province. Samhwasa Temple is at Mountain Dutasan in Donghae, and is a thousand year old temple with a rich and evocative history!
The temple houses the main shrine, pavillion, and many oother smaller shrines. It happens to be home to 2 national treasures- a three story stone pagoda and steel sitting Buddha statue.
It is only a 5-10 minute walk from the entrance, but even greater are the other rich heritage sites that are also located near this temple! The Buddha Statue is said to be the Buddha who will help cure the misfortunes of all the misfortunate, and is very unique because it was built entirely out of steel, from a historical quarry!
It is a beautiful and peaceful shrine we recommend that you visit at least once, if you happen to be planning a trip to Gangwon-do! The temple also offers temple stay programs, where you can become part of nature and the serene, idyllic setting that is this shrine.
Information and Photos courtesy of Visit Korea
(Click to Enlarge)
San172, Samhwa-dong Donghae-si Gangwon-do, South Korea
But what are the other famous sites near this temple? We heard of a beautiful waterfall that is about a one hour walk away from the shrine, but there is one closer that is actually on the way! It is called White Rock, and is located on the pathway and is reputedly so beautiful that a long time ago, scholars would come and repose on the rock and leave behind their feelings of contentment and bliss.
If you visit the rock today you can still see the ancient Chinese characters scribed on the rock! What we find especially amusing is that while it is beautiful, it is technically just ancient graffiti! (How often have we seen children scribble “I was here”?)
Look how beautifully transcribed the writing is! We couldn’t do something like this unless we were using a machine of some kind…
Additionally, the path to the temple is surrounded by a beautiful brook that runs straight down the mountain, forging a path that has often be called Dragon’s Path because of natural black formations on the rocks that look like a trail left by a dragon. In Ancient Korea, Dragons were symbols of power and fortune.
This is the famous passage of dragons! What do you think?
Additionally, you pass under a Pagoda that was built as part of the efforts to help conserve as much cultural hertiage as possible! We found our voices hushing and speaking in whispers as we passed under it- maybe this is just what happens when you are seeking serenity?
The way to the temple looks like something out of a fairytale- what do you think?
A row of statues guards the temple gates, following the sign and order of the Chinese zodiac! Do you see your sign?
It is a beautiful, richly heritaged destination to the East of Korea! So what about visiting this temple?
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