Daedeoksa Temple – 대덕사 (Dongnae, Busan)

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The main hall at Daedeoksa Temple in Dongnae, Busan.

Hello Again Everyone!!

Like Geumyongam Hermitage, Daedeoksa Temple is located in a bend in the road on the other side of Mandeok Tunnel in Dongnae, Busan. And it’s scenically situated on the south-eastern slopes of Mt. Geumjeongsan (801.5 m).

Just west of Geumyongam Hermitage, and under a beautiful Iljumun Gate, you’ll find Daedeoksa Temple. The first thing to greet you, other than the temple’s facilities, are a pair of stone statues. The first, to the right, is a three metre tall statue dedicated to Gwanseeum-bosal (The Bodhisattva of Compassion). This statue is joined to the left by Podae-hwasang (The Hempen Bag).

To the left of the temple’s facilities is Daedeoksa Temple’s main courtyard. Straight ahead, and rather uniquely for a Korean temple, you’ll find the main hall unpainted. This rather large main hall is all but unadorned on its exterior all except for some beautiful wood engraved paneling. And to the right of the main hall is a large building that’s acts as the monks’ quarters.

Stepping inside the main hall, you’ll see a large stone statue of Seokgamoni-bul (The Historical Buddha). To the right is a beautiful wood engraving, and to the left is a shrine for Jijang-bosal (The Bodhisattva of the Afterlife). It’s also to the left of the main altar’s Buddha that you’ll find a collection of paintings that honour deceased monks that once took up residence at Daedeoksa Temple.

To the rear of the main hall, and to the left, follow the pathway that will lead you to the Samseong-gak shaman shrine hall. This building is the only building at the temple that is adorned with the traditional dancheong colours and murals around its exterior walls. Stepping inside this colourful hall, you’ll notice three shaman paintings hanging on the main altar. The one in the centre is a mural dedicated to Chilseong (The Seven Stars). And to the left of this mural is a painting dedicated to Sanshin (The Mountain Spirit). But it’s the emaciated depiction of Dokseong (The Lonely Saint), which hangs to the right of the Chilseong mural, that truly stands out for its originality.

HOW TO GET THERE: From the Dongnae subway stop, Line 1, subway stop #125, you’ll need to go through exit #3 to get a taxi. From this station, it’ll take 8 minutes, or 3.2 kilometres, and cost 4,300 won.

OVERALL RATING: 4/10. Daedeoksa Temple has a few original highlights like the colourless main hall, the large Seokgamoni-bul statue that sits in the main hall, and the Dokseong mural that’s hanging in the shaman shrine hall. Also, it doesn’t hurt that the grounds to the main temple courtyard has grass.

The Gwanseeum-bosal statue that greets you at the entry to the temple.
As well as this statue of Podae-Hwasang.
As you first approach the main hall at Daedeoksa Temple.
A better look at the main hall.
A closer look at one of the unpainted wood engravings that adorns the main hall.
A look to the right of the main hall at the monks’ dorms.
Inside the main hall sits this large stone statue of Seokgamoni-bul.
A beautiful wood engraving inside the main hall.
A shrine dedicated to Jijang-bosal inside the main hall.
The view that Seokgamoni-bul gets to enjoy.
The view from behind the main hall as you make your way towards the Samseong-gak.
The Samseong-gak through the shubbery.
A closer look at the shaman shrine hall.
The Chilseong mural.
The Sanshin mural.
The unique Dokseong mural.
A view of both modern and traditional Korea.

 

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