Bongeunsa Temple

Attraction 531, Bongeunsa-ro, Gangnam-gu, Seoul Published on: 13-11-2015

2 hours 30 mins
05:00 AM - 11:55 PM
08:00 AM
10:30 AM
First-time visit
Must see
Temple & Monument
0.00 USD

Bongeunsa Temple is good for

Good for family with kids Family with kids Good
Good for senior Senior Good
Good for couple Couple Good
Good for solo Solo Good
Good for group Group Good
  • Highly recommended by fellow travellers.
Bongeunsa is a 1,200 year old temple located in Samseong-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul. Built in 794 C.E. during the reign of King Wonseong by National Teacher, Ven.

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Why Bongeunsa Temple is special ?

Bongeunsa is a 1,200 year old temple located in Samseong-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul. Built in 794 C.E. during the reign of King Wonseong by National Teacher, Ven. Yeonhoe, Bongeunsa became the head temple of the Seon sect during the Joseon Dynasty, when the government supported Confucianism, while oppressing Buddhism. Due to the efforts of Ven. Bowu, who devoted himself to the revival of Korean Buddhism, by official recognition Bongeunsa became a stepping stone for this development. In addition, through the national examinations for recruiting monks, it produced great masters such as Master Seosan and Samyeong, who revived the lineage of Seon (Zen) practice in Korea. In the latter part of the Joseon Dynasty, Ven. Younggi built the Pan-jeon to store and preserve Buddhist scriptures, as well as eighty-one engraved volumes of the Avatamsaka Sutra. Jeonghee Kim, at that time a great scholar and calligrapher, resided here and developed his own unique writing style, known as Chusache. More recently, when Bongeunsa was experiencing a period of decline, Ven. Youngam gradually gathered land and laid the foundation for a huge temple compound in present-day Gangnam. In the 1960s, the Dongguk Translation Institute was established at this temple to spearhead the translation of Buddhist scriptures from Chinese to Korean. This temple was also the birthplace of the Buddhist youth movement.


What to explore at Bongeunsa Temple?

Entry to the temple is through Jinyeomun (Gate of Truth), protected by four fierce guardians. On the right is a charity shop, Beautiful Store (open 10.30am-6pm Tuesday to Sunday). On the left is a small hut where an English-­speaking volunteer guide is usually available. Make an effort to visit on Thursday because from 2pm to 4pm, monks and volunteers offer a temple program in English that costs only W10,000 and includes lotus-lantern making, dado (tea ceremony), a temple tour and Seon (Zen) meditation. The main shrine, Daewungjeon , last renovated in 1982, has lattice doors and is decor­ated inside and out with Buddhist symbols and art that express Buddhist philosophy and ideals. A small 14th-century bell is hidden in one corner. On the right is the funeral hall, while behind are smaller shrine halls and a massive standing statue – the Maitreya (Future) Buddha. Nearby is the oldest hall, Panjeon , constructed in 1856, which houses over 3000 150-year-old woodblocks with Buddhist scripture and art carved into them.


How to get to Bongeunsa Temple?

Line 2 Samseong Station Exit 6, 100m towards Assem Tower

Line 7 Cheongdam Station Exit 2, 150m towards Gyeonggi High School

Selling points

  • Serene place amidst the bustle of Seoul
  • Peaceful Temple in the city
  • A Nice Break From Other Sightseeing or Shopping
  • Colorful and Accessible
  • City temple, Beautiful gathering place

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1.0 day
6.40 USD
Total travel distance
Number of places
5 places




531, Bongeunsa-ro, Gangnam-gu, Seoul

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Tips for you

  • The temple offers facilities for the Disabled including accessible restrooms, wheelchair-accessible information booth, wheelchair rentals, ramps
  • You should bring your camera to capture the beautiful sights. Taking panoramic photos here is great idea.
  • Pets is not permitted.
  • This is reverent place so you should wear the polite clothes.
    What to wear
  • You should keep eyes on your children to avoid bothering other people.
  • You can find souvenir shop, restaurant, traditional tea house, second hand shop around the temple.
  • Best time to go is close to Buddhas birthday because there are many colorful, pretty lanterns all over.
  • The official website is great site for more detailed information, so you visit it before your trip to the temple
  • Parking is available.


FourSquare View more

peaceful and calm temple area in the heart of Gangnam! this is a must visit place in Seoul and it's one of the most stunning things I have ever seen, especially during the night time!

TripAdvisor View more

It is a 1200year old temple built in 794 C.E. during the reign of King Wonseong. Today it is the center of Buddhist practice where monks apply themselves to chanting, monastic meals, communal work and Seon meditation. Explore the 12 views , starting with Jinyeo-mun, Gate of Suchness, things just as they are. From this gate, your trip to the ultimate truth begins. To the left and right are the 4 celestial Kings., constructed from wood. Up ahead is the Beopwang-ru, Dharma King Pavilion which faces the Main Buddha Hall., Daewoong-jeon.. There are also other praying halls and at the time we visited chantings and prayings were being carried out at these halls. You could feel the qi. There is a 23m high Statue of Maitreya Buddha , the future Buddha who vows to save sentient beings in the era after the lifetime of Sakyamuni Buddha.. Up next is the statue of Haesu Gwaneum-sang, Bodhisattva of Compassion in the pond., behind the Bell Pavilion. Inside the pavilion are 4 instruments- a Dharma Bell, a Dharma drum, a gong and a wooden fish. These 4 instruments are struck just before services at dawn and in the evening, with the intention of saving all beings in the universe. To get here, we took Line 2 and alighted at Samseong station, exit 6 and walk straight ahead for 10 minutes.

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