Geumsan Mountain is in Namhae, the fifth largest island in South Korea. The Boriam Hermitage (temple) is on the top of Mountain Geumsan, overlooking the blue sea, located in Hallyeohaesang National Park. It is a temple among the clouds and is one of the most famous, unique and beautiful temples in South Korea. It is known as one of the most prestigious prayer spots in Korea for the worship of Gwanseeum-bosal. Legend has it that visitors to the hermitage will be granted one wish.
Your trip to Namhae is incomplete without a visit to Boriam Hermitage. You will never forget Boriam Hermitage visit.
The hermitage was founded in 683 by the leading thinker of Korean Buddhism, Monk Wonhyo Daesa. He allegedly lived at the temple in complete solitude and away from all worldly pleasures. Boriam Hermitage has an upper and a lower section. Most of the buildings are in the upper section, whereas the lower section is just as impressive. There is a tall, slender statue dedicated to the Buddha of Mercy, along with a three-story stone pagoda of great historical importance.
How To Get There?
To reach Boriam hermitage at the top of Geumsan, you can use the car, taxi or a bus. One parking lot is located at the foot of Geumsan. From here, you can climb/hike using various trails, about 4 km long, leading to the hermitage. The second parking lot is almost near the summit of Geumsan. From here, Boriam hermitage is about a 20-minute easy hike. You can reach the second parking lot by car/taxi/bus. Buses are also available from Namhae Joint Terminal. There is a shuttle bus service between two parking lots.
There is an admission fee for adults.
What You’ll See?
Geumsan Boriam temple complex is one of the 12 most scenic spots at the heights of Boriam Hermitage in the Southern area of South Korea, making Boriam Hermitage a must-see in Namhae. The view of Hallyeohaesang National Park from Boriam Hermitage is one of the best scenic views in Namhae, and you can get stunning views from the temple complex by going beyond the hermitage. You can get an amazing 360-degree view of Namhae. It is famous for its fabulous sunrises also.
The views from the standing Gwanseeum-bosal statue and the Halls in the complex show the greatest vistas of the South Sea, and people even line up to take the unique shots looking out into the Namhae islets from this point.
The Wontong-jeon Hall is on the right of entry of the compact hermitage courtyard. The exterior walls of this long hall have paintings of the Bodhisattva of the Afterlife (Gwanseeum-bosal).
The main altar inside the Wontong-jeon Hall is a miniature wooden shrine with a statue of Gwanseeum-bosal, sitting all alone on a red silk pillow. It represents the Buddha of infinite compassion and mercy.
Jong-ru (Bell Pavilion)
To the left of the Wontong-jeon Hall, a small flight of stairs leads to the Jong-ru (Bell Pavilion). There is a tall, beautiful white Buddha statue dedicated to Gwanseeum-bosal inside a small grotto. From this area, visitors can get some breathtaking views of the South Sea. The famous three-story Pagoda is to the right of the statue.
Three-Story Stone Pagoda
The legendary three-story stone pagoda is much older and is of great significance for the Borium Hermitage. According to one legend, this Pagoda was brought to Korea from India by Queen Heo Hwang-ok, while another legend is that it was erected by the Monk Wonhyo.
The Pagoda consists of a two-tiered base, three sets of body and roof stones, and a round decorative top. The stones used in Pagoda are granite stones. The stone pagoda sits on a rock ledge that overlooks the South Sea.
Steep stone stairs behind the Wontong-jeon Hall lead to Sanshin-gak Hall. The hall has a unique painting dedicated to Sanshin (The Mountain Spirit), showing a tiger peering around the side of the Sanshin.
Boriam Ramyeon Restaurant
On the trail towards the peak of Geumsan Mountain, there is a small restaurant called Boriam Ramyeon Restaurant, serving only cup noodles. This place is popular for its spectacular views.
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