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Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Namo Palbeon Daebosal, Part XX: Daewonsa, Sancheong, Southern Gyeongsang


Located at the eastern foot of Mount Jiri - Yupyeong-ri 2-beonji, Samjang-myeon, Sancheong County, Southern Gyeongsang Province, Daewonsa Temple (Hanja: 大源寺) was first built in 548CE during the Silla Dynasty (9th Reigning Year of King Jinheung), but it remained closed for over a thousand years until it was renovated and made much bigger and named Daewon. 

Unfortunately, the entire premises were lost to a big fire during the night of 12 January 1914, and all the halls and pavilions, including Yosachae, totaling 184 rooms in 12 buildings, were rebuilt in 1917. They were damaged once again during the Korean War and were abandoned for some time, but when the war was over the temple was rejuvenated and made even bigger. Located nearby are Geoyeonjeong and Gunjajeong Halls that are believed to have been the studying venue of scholars from olden times.

The two-kilometer-long valley that stretches from the parking lot at the entrance to Daewonsa Temple to the temple itself is surrounded by high hills and curious-looking rocks. The clean water that oozes out through craters between the rocks generates unusual scenery. Associated with Yongso Pond is the legend that a dragon lived in it for a hundred years before it finally flew away. Somakgol Valley is known to be the place where the last King of Geumgwan Gaya, King Guhyeong-Guhae came to feed his cows and horses.