Haedong Yonggungsa Temple sits right at the edge of rocky white cliffs where the lovely blue waves crash gently on the rocks. It is one of the most scenic temples by the sea in all of Korea. And the temple’s graceful bridges and traditional-style architecture match the natural beauty of the surrounding area. So let’s go take a closer look.
The mystical origins of Haedong Yonggungsa Temple
Historians say that this beautiful temple was built in the Goryeo Dynasty after the kingdom experienced a severe drought and it was believed that people would become prosperous again if a temple by the ocean was built.
And ever since that time this beautiful monastery has endured through the ages and is dedicated to the veneration of the Korean Goddess of Mercy.
Even today a large number of devotees come each year to pay homage to the temple gods and pray for the health and safety of their families.
But the temple also attracts a large number of tourists both locals and foreigners alike because of the beauty of its structure and the breathtaking views of the mountains and the sea around it. Truly this temple is a testament to the history and culture of the Korean nation.
To get here take the Busan subway line 2 to Haeundae Station, Exit 7. Next, take Bus number 181 and get off at Yonggungsa Temple. The temple is open everyday from 4 am to 7 pm.
The Korean Goddess of Mercy
Above the temple rises the statue of the Goddess of Mercy who is the Buddhist goddess of compassion. Many people come here to light candles and pray.
Exploring a Buddhist shrine
Now let’s go take a closer look inside! As you enter the area from the bridge you will see these steps leading to the entrance. Make sure you comply with all Covid SOPs and wear a mask.
Inside you can explore the Daeungjeon Main Sanctuary. This prayer hall is decorated by rows and rows of beautiful lanterns and paintings. In the center are three golden statues depicting Buddha. Since, many people come to pray here it is recommended that you enter silently and remove your shoes outside so that other people are not disturbed.
Also the Buddhist monks conduct ceremonial prayers here to venerate Buddha. And the visitors can also light candles in the other shrines next to the main prayer hall as well.
Some visitors also place coins on the little statues of monks that are present here.
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Haedong Yonggungsa Temple-the magic of the sea meets the peace of the sanctuary
Honestly, the views of the sea are simply stunning from above the temple. From here you get a bird’s eye view of the entire coastline and the mountains. In fact, there are hiking trails on these mountains that are lined by bamboo trees and if you like spending time outdoors you can check these out as well.
You can also go down to the rocks and get a closer view at the sea. Here you will get an uninterrupted view of the ocean stretching out into the horizon.
And standing here you can feel a sense of calm as you gaze at the waves and feel the fresh, salty ocean breeze run through your hair. It is also the nicest spot to capture the waves and take some memorable pictures.
To wrap up, this temple is definitely a must-visit because there are hardly any other temples that lie right at the seashore. And the views from here are simply magical. In fact, many visitors come here just to see the sunrise!
Besides this place is literally a historical landmark where you can explore one facet of cultural life in Korea. So if you happen to be in the area then give this place a visit!
By the way have you ever wondered what your Korean name is? Because this blog has some answers for you.