Monday, July 9, 2012

[Tour/Press Article] Explore the Peaceful Tranquility of Local Buddhist Temples


Temple Journey in Daegu!

Explore the Peaceful Tranquility of Local Buddhist Temples










Biking around in my neighborhood I've been exploring some of the local temples. The first one opposite Unam Middle School caught my eye originally due to the large statue outside.





There are two buildings in the complex. The first one had a large hall filled with hanging lanterns from the ceiling. The front main shrine had two curved walls either side filled with rows of tiny gold buddha statues.









The second smaller adjacent building had a smaller version of the same shrine and curved walls but without the hanging lanterns from the ceiling. 





Directly behind is Hamji Park. Here is a beautiful lake with a large lotus pond at the entrance. From here you can go hiking for several kms around this small city mountain.




A short ride away hidden behind Hamji High School is another older and smaller temple. From the main street follow the trail of hanging lanterns up a narrow street to the main gate. This was a small compound with two small buildings. To the left was a pond with a covering made to look like a cave. It had a small window shrine at the front and many tiny buddha statues positioned around around the pond. 


The third temple I only found by accident. Hidden behind the Chilgok Catholic Hospital by the Dong-A Dept store, I only saw this when I had to go for my medical exam. It’s a large three storey structure with beautifully painted wood beams and exterior artwork. The main prayer hall is on the third floor. Interestingly they had an interior pagoda next to a seated bronze buddha. This is something I have not seen before inside a temple. They also had several marble candle holders and pots. Again not typical as they are usually polished brass and copper. You can also go out on the top floor terrace.


The next temple is located on the northern most tip of Chilgok. From the Homeplus and 7-Valley shopping centre keep walking north from the intersection with the Lotteria. After ten minutes passing thru the rice fields you will see the temple. 

Inside was the standard gold buddha shrine and paintings on the outer walls. This one had three gold buddhas in the main shrine. The first difference I noticed from your normal temple is the detailed work in the ceiling. Not only were the beams and ceiling beautifully painted in detail, they had a pair of dragon heads sticking out at either end of the hall. They served no architectural purpose but helped to add an extra level of detail and distinction.


I also noticed the shrines had detailed canopies even more interesting they had a flying angel on one. The main shrine I then noticed had many hanging dragons inside the canopy. For the level of detail and work that has gone into this temple I would consider this the best in chilgok. It was more reminiscent of the ones in Taiwan for the detail and artwork than typical of Korean temples. 


The last temple was in my old neighbourhood of Gwaneum-dong. Located just north of the Chilgok IC Highway exit this temple is on the road running parallel northbound to the highway. It has three main buildings set around an outer stone stupa. In the grounds a bit further back along the highway is a small cemetery plot.


It’s especially beautiful in peak cherry blossom season. The place becomes busy with many others admiring the cherry blossom and a popular photo spot






This temple is at the terminus spot for bus 937 just north of the Chilgok IC Exit, next to an electric company building. Buses 724, 719, and 750 also terminate a stop further. From Homeplus you can also walk here by following the road west until it becomes a single lane and curves southwards along the highway.










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