Saturday, May 1: Today I venture out on my own to visit Donghwasa Temple. one of the most well-known temples in Daegu. This is my first time since I arrived in March that I go on an excursion all by myself.
Donghwasa Temple (동화사) sits on the south side of Mt. Palgongsan, about 22km northeast of Daegu. It was built by monk Geuk-Dal in the 15th year of the Silla King SoJi’s reign (493). The original name of the temple was Yugasa, but Simjiwangsa rebuilt the temple under King HeungDeok (reign 826~836) and named it Donghwasa. It means even during the winter, the paulownia tree still blooms. The present temple was last rebuilt in 1732, according to the Official Site of Korea Tourism.
It’s a lovely spring day and I enjoy walking all around the grounds of the temple. The atmosphere is peaceful yet festive, with all the colorful lanterns strung everywhere. Maybe this is in preparation for Buddha’s birthday at the end of May.
Donghwasa’s Daeungjeon is segmented into 3 sections at the front and side, and its natural looking pillars are one of its main attractions. I come upon the huge Seokjoyaksa Yeoraebul. Created as a prayer for reunification, this large Buddha statue is 17m high. The stone tower, stone light, the lion statue, and the lotus flower that decorate the Buddha statue are all very large in size. Behind the statue are also stones arranged in a circular form resembling a beautiful scroll painting. (Visit Korea: Donghwasa Temple)