Hi Friends! Recently I went on a trip to South Korea, and one of the places I visited as a Buddhist temple called the Woljeongsa Temple. 월정사 in Korean and 月精寺 in Chinese. The temple is located on the eastern slopes of the Dongshan Mountain at the Odaesan National Park in Gangwon Province's Pyeongchang County, surrounded by green coniferous forest. The Woljeongsa Temple is a head temple of the Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism and was founded in 643AD by the Silla monk Jajang Yulsa (자장 율사/ 慈藏律師).
The weather on the day as you can tell from my pictures was very sunny, however what it doesn’t show is how cold it was. The temperature of the day was about -15c to -20c. Since the temple was situated in the mountains, I can imagine it to be -18c at least (sorry I didn’t exactly check the outdoor temperature then, but I was freezing!) I think this is the coldest I have been in so far in my life, I felt like I could turn into a block of ice really quickly! Around 10 minutes being outside of our warm and cosy vehicle, I was already shaking and my nose was really red from the cold. Towards the end of my visit (I didn’t last very long, just under 30 minutes), I couldn’t feel my toes, feet and fingers even though they’re wrapped in thick socks. I wish I could stay there longer to admire every little artistic details of the temple but was too cold to do so.
DESPITE the cold, I managed to get some stunning images of the Woljeongsa Temple and would like to share it with you guys. I can imagine Woljeongsa during the spring or autumn time to be most pleasant to visit, when the spring flowers are blooming or autumn leaves are falling.
On our way to the actual temple, we had to cross a stone bridge and then hike up the hill next to a crystal clear river. When I visited, parts of the river froze and the see the river to be crystal clear.
The view from the bridge
The view of the bridge and river after crossing.
The hill I needed to hike up to reach the Woljeongsa Temple
YAY! The front/main gate where you walk past the four gods, when you ask for blessings
A picture of two of the four buddhist gods.
As you walk through the intricately decorated entrances, we begin to see the inner courtyard/ main houses of the temple, where monks practices their everyday routine. The image below is one of them. The picture on the top featuring the Nine Story Stone Pagoda is located in the middle of all of the building complex.
Just on the far left corner of the main Woljeongsa temple building I found a flowing well. The water from this well is believed to be collected on streams from the mountain and the water was crystal clear rich in minerals.Because of the cold weather, the water around it has became ice which created a stunning and surreal effect. More closeups below.
There were tiny buckets with handles on the side where you can used to drink from the well. Since the water was ice cold, I took an empty bottle and filled it up instead of drinking it on the spot. I enjoyed it when I was back in my warm vehicle and the water was really sweet and fresh. If you ever have the chance to visit, I would definitely recommend drinking from this well.
Overall, the visit was a pleasant one. Although it was cold, but I was happy to be close to nature and breathed in fresh air from the countryside.
Hi Jetsetters, welcome to my blogisphere. I am Esther, your guide for today! I hope you will enjoy this tour of my visual travel diary.
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