Jangansa Temple is said to have been founded by Buddhist Monk Wonhyo famous for the story of horrid skull cup. For more than 1,300 years, it has been in harmony with the foot of Bulgwangsan Mountain. With Bulgwangsan Mountain in its background and Jangansa Valley in its foreground, Jangansa Temple attracts many people with the beautiful nature outside and harmonious design inside.
Once you’ve crossed over the finely curved bridge, you’ll get to Iljumun Gate. The tilted roof is not fancy, but it creates a tranquil and dignified mood. At Iljumun Gate, Statue of Four Guardian Kings stands in a manly mien. Standing in front of the statue, you feel like the kings noticing your worries. Pass through the gate, and go inside the temple. There’s a small place where buildings are arranged harmoniously around the stone pagoda in the center, which gives you the unique sense of the beauty of hanok.
The irresistibly adorable Buddhist Monk Podae, with its friendly face and a plump body, stands out. This statue is of a Chinese monk believed to share happiness in his burlap bag. Just by looking at the statue’s happy face, you feel like you’ve been given a small present. Next to it is the Buddha statue closing his ears with one hand and putting the index finger of the other hand on the mouth with a gesture of “shh,” which is highly amusing. There is also a stone statue with a light and subtle smile. Look at the statues, and you will also get the smile of enlightenment for which, in Buddhism, is all part of understanding each other.
Jangansa Temple has old and new buildings. In the temple, Daeungjeon Hall and Ungjinjeon Hall are old buildings that are taller than they are long, with wide roofs. The eaves of Daeungjeon Hall look like wings flying into the sky, creating a magnificent feeling. In contrast, next to it, Myeongbujeon Hall has the beauty of simplicity and plainness.
If you visit the temple in autumn, the season of “high sky and plump horses,” you’ll be impressed by the splendor of the mountain covered with red autumn leaves. As if wearing a dress of multicolored stripes, the mountain envelops the temple like a folding screen with a calm and gorgeous view. It makes you feel like the leaves dyed with the ever-changing sunset.
When talking about Jangansa Temple, the bamboo forest is also an essential part. Its landscape is not artificial but nature-friendly like a wild trail in a rural backyard. By just watching it, you will feel refreshed, like being in your own secret garden.
Jangansa Temple provides different charms depending on the season. Surrounds it is Bulgwangsan Mountain that changes its color by the season. Thus, Jangansa Temple tells you exciting stories with different colors every season.