See The Beauty of Seongnamsa Temple in Ulsan, Korea

Ulsan, Korea: Seongnamsa TempleSeongnamsa Temple (석남사-울산) sits on the southern side of the Gaji mountain range in Ulsan and is one of the four major Buddhist temples of the Gajisan Provincial Park.Ulsan, Korea: Seongnamsa Temple Ulsan, Korea: Seongnamsa Temple

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The Buddhist temple was originally built in 824AD by monk Master Doui. Of course, as many temples were, this temple was destroyed during the Japanese Invasions between 1592 and 1598 and was subsequently rebuilt in 1674 by Zen Masters Takyoung and Sunchol. Currently, there are 30 buildings on the premises, some of which are not open to the public as this is a major temple for Buddhist nuns to reside and practice asceticism.Ulsan, Korea: Seongnamsa TempleUlsan, Korea: Seongnamsa Temple Ulsan, Korea: Seongnamsa Temple

After purchasing a ticket and walking beneath a beautiful archway that welcomes all, a path with a canopy of trees above follows along a stream to the temple. About a 10 minute walk brings visitors to the temple with bridges on either side bringing visitors across the stream to the colorful temple walls. The doors that welcome visitors into the temple are interesting in that they don’t have the common paintings of guardians but instead have large Sanskrit circles helping to rid visitors of bad karma according to my go-to Korean temples expert, Dale Quarrington.Ulsan, Korea: Seongnamsa Temple Ulsan, Korea: Seongnamsa Temple

One of the highlights of the temple is the Three Story Pagoda, or Seokgomoni Pagoda, in the center courtyard which was built in 824AD. Monk Doui resurrected this pagoda with the hope that it would help protect his country from foreign invasions. While it may not have worked, it still is a beautiful sight and begs everyone to take a breath, take a seat and experience the calm of the grounds they’re about to explore.

Behind the temple is the main hall, Daengjeon or the “Great Hero Hall”. The area to the right of the main hall is off limits to visitors as the nuns reside there, but the buildings to the left are open for peering eyes to see. A stupa behind the main hall contains the remains of the founding monk, Doui, and sits above the rest of the grounds providing a good vantage point for the temple grounds and the mountainous area surrounding the colorful temple.Ulsan, Korea: Seongnamsa Temple Ulsan, Korea: Seongnamsa Temple Ulsan, Korea: Seongnamsa Temple Ulsan, Korea: Seongnamsa Temple

The intricate paintings and peeling outer surfaces of the temple buildings really made it appealing to the eye. This is a beautiful temple to visit while in the area either camping or hiking on the mountain range.

Seongnamsa Temple (석남사-울산)

Ulsan, Korea: Seongnamsa TempleAddress:

557, Seongnam-ro, Sangbuk-myeon, Ulju-gun, Ulsan

울산광역시 울주군 상북면 석남로 557

Hours: 8:00am ~ 5:00pm

Admission: Adults: W1,700; Teenagers: W1,300; Elementary Students to Teenagers: W1,000; Younger: Free

Amenities: parking, bathrooms, small shop, easily accessible for families with small children

The Beauty of Seongnamsa Temple in Ulsan, Korea

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6 Responses

  1. Suma Jain says:

    The intricate details on the ceiling is breath-taking. Such fine and colourful artwork on every corner of the temple!!

  2. Nathan says:

    S Korea is one of the few Asian countries I’ve yet to visit but I hope to go next year! I’ll have to keep your website in mind for when I do go.

  3. Kerri says:

    I haven’t spent a lot of time visiting these kind of temples in Asia so found this really interesting. I can’t believe the level of detail, colour anad intricacy of the artwork. That photo you have showing the underside of the roof is just incredible. Thanks so much for your detail in this article, I found it fascinating.

  4. South Korea is one of the countries included in my list for next year. It really is simply amazing. The beautiful, colorful, and intricate designs of the temples, especially its roofs are amazing. Thank you for showing us beautiful glimpses of South Korea, particularly Ulsan.

    • Hallie says:

      I hope you can make it here! Spring is my favorite time of the year. If you can come around Buddha’s Birthday, you’ll love it. ^^

  1. September 9, 2016

    […] only did we enjoy the natural aspects of being in the forest together, but we also visited the nearby and beautiful Seongnamsa Temple. Because we weren’t going to attempt to scale the mountain with a two year old in tow, we […]

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