Attraction 55 Gyeonji-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul 110-170, South Korea Published on: 13-11-2015
|2 hours 30 mins|
|05:00 AM - 09:00 PM|
Temple & Monument
Jogyesa Temple is good for
- Highly recommended by fellow travellers.
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Why Jogyesa Temple is special ?
Jogyesa (Temple) is the headquarters of the Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism. Jogye is the major sect of Korean Zen (Seon) Buddhism. Since Jogyesa is the chief temple of the largest sect of Korean Buddhism, it is on a grand scale. Daeungjeon (Hall) is the main hall of the temple and it has a statue of Sakyamuni Buddha enshrined within it. The majestic size of the main hall is often compared to that of the halls of the Joseon palaces. Jogyesa is located in the centre of Seoul, so it attracts many international visitors who want to experience Buddhist culture. The temple also hosts the Lotus Lantern Festival every May around Buddha's birthday and runs a Temple-life program for overseas visitors. While visiting Jogyesa, it is worth taking a look at Insa-dong street.
What to explore at Jogyesa Temple?
Within the grounds of this temple is Daeungjeon, the largest Buddhist shrine in Seoul. Murals of scenes from Buddha’s life and the carved floral latticework doors are two of its attractive features. Inside are three giant Buddha statues: on the left is Amitabha, Buddha of the Western Paradise; in the centre is the historical Buddha, who lived in India and achieved enlightenment; on the right is the Bhaisaiya or Medicine Buddha, with a medicine bowl in his hand. The small 15th-century Buddha in the glass case was the main Buddha statue before he was replaced by the much larger ones in 2006. On the right-hand side is a guardian altar with lots of fierce-looking guardians in the painting behind, and on the left side is the altar used for memorial services.
Believers who enter the temple bow three times, touching their forehead to the ground – once for Buddha, once for the dharma and once for the sangha, 20 of whom serve in this temple. Outside there are candles and incense sticks
Behind the main shrine is the modern Amitabha Buddha Hall, where funeral services are held. The statues are the 10 judges who pass judgement, 49 days after someone’s death, to decide if they go to heaven or hell.
The new Central Buddhist Museum has three galleries of antique woodblocks, symbol-filled paintings and other Buddhist artefacts. In one corner is a teashop, Namu. In another corner is the Information Centre for Foreigners, staffed by English-speaking Buddhist guides. Making lanterns and prayer beads, doing woodblock printing, painting and drinking green tea are usually possible. The activities are free but donations are welcome. Ask about having a meditation lesson and a four-bowl Buddhist monk meal. A temple stay can also be arranged.
How to get to Jogyesa Temple?
Jonggak Station (Seoul Subway Line 1), Exit 2.
Go 70m forward, and cross the street.
Go 100m forward, and turn left.
Anguk Station (Seoul Subway Line 3), Exit 6.
Go 500m foward, and cross the street.
Turn left, and go approximately 50m forward.
Gwanghwamun Station (Seoul Subway Line 5), Exit 2.
Walk 50m forward to arrive at Jogyesa Temple.
- Quiet temple in central Seoul
- Beautiful and Nice Buddhist temple that worth a visit
- Great place for a quick visit
- Wonderful and beautiful experience
- Spectacular lanterns
55 Gyeonji-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul 110-170, South Korea
Tips for you
The most popular temple in Korea. There is a street specialized in Buddhism along with many restaurants and shops.
I visited this temple on 29th November 2014 whilst visiting Korea on business. It is located in the popular tourist shopping area of Insadong. "Jogyesa" is the chief temple of the Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism, becoming so in 1936. It thus plays a leading role in the current state of Seon Buddhism in South Korea. The temple was first established in 1395, at the dawn of the Joseon Dynasty; the modern temple was founded in 1910 and initially called "Hwanggaksa." The name was changed to "Taegosa" during the period of Japanese rule, and then to the present name in 1954. The temple complex consists of a main entrance gate and several buildings along with the main temple building itself. The buildings are stunningly decorated and the Buddha statues inside the temple are very impressive. During my visit a service was in full swing which was very interesting and a memorable cultural experience. No photos are allowed inside the temple and shoes must be removed before entry. I spent about 40 minutes at this temple and enjoyed it very much... Well worth a visit if in Seoul and a great place for some quality travel photography.