by Oh, Ye-Seul (Yeony-Suny Reporter)

8. Hadong

● General Information

Hadong is situated amongst Mt. Jirisan National Park and Seomjingang River, bordered on the south by Hallyeo Maritime National Park. It harbors many old temples such as Ssanggyesa Temple and Chilbulsa Temple. Hadong is also famous for the cultivation of wild green tea leaves.

 Hadong Tourist Attraction

    Ssanggyesa Temple

Address : Unsu-ri 208 Hwagae-myeon Hadong-gun Gyeongsangnam-do

TEL : +82-55-883-1901          http://www.ssanggyesa.net

Admission Fee | Adults : 2,500won, Youth : 1,000won, Children : 500won

Located on the southern part of Mt. Jirisan, Ssanggyesa and Hwaeomsa Temples are among the most popular temples in the Jirisan area. Constructed by Sambeob who was a disciple of Euisang in the 23rd year of King Seongdeok’s reign during the Silla Era, it was called Okcheonsa Temple at first. Then, the Buddhist Monk, Jingam changed its name to Ssanggyesa Temple after having seeded around the temple with tea from China. The temple was burnt down during the Japanese Invasion, Imjinwaeran (1592-1598) and later rebuilt.

The best time to visit this area is spring, as the 6km path from Hwagye market place to Ssanggyesa Temple is filled with blooming 600-year-old cherry blossom trees. With the myth that lovers who walk together along the cherry blossom tree path, it is also called Hollaegil (wedding path). A 40-50 minute walk along the tree-lined path leads to Ssanggyesa Temple.

Across the bridge in front of the ticket office, there are two rocks engraved with the words “ssanggye” and “seokmun” each. It is said that the eminent scholar Choi Chiwon of the Silla Era had engraved the words with a cane. In the middle of the temple, one of the foremost Korean epigraphs “Jingamseonsa-daegongtabbi” is situated in front of the main building Daeunggeun. This was also written by Choi Chiwon. To the east you can find the Ssanggyesa Ma-aebul, a unique image of Buddha engraved in a hollowed out section of rock.

In addition, Palyeongru is the cradle of Korean style Beompae (Buddhist music), which was initiated by the Priest Jimgam (774-850) who studied the Buddhist music in China. As Jingam composed the piece Eosan (fish mountain) by watching the fish of Seomjingang River with Paleumryul (eight tones and rhythms), this place is named Palyeongru.

During the third year of King Heugdeok’s reign during the Silla Era, Kim Daeryeom visited China and brought seeds for tea trees. By royal order, he planted the seeds around Ssanggyesa Temple and this area became the first place to cultivate tea.

   Jirisan National Park

Address : Beomwang-ri Hwagae-myeon Hadong-gun Gyeongsangnam-do


* Hiking Course

Ssanggyesa Temple Course : Ssanggyesa Temple – Buril falls – Samsinbong – Seseokpyeongjeon – Jangteomok – Cheonwangbong >>21.6㎞, 2 days 1 night

Along with Mt. Geumgansan and Mt. Hallasan, Mt. Jirisan is known to be one of the most sacred mountains in Korea. It was named ‘Jiri’ because it was believed to be a place that turns the innocent into the wise. Mt. Jirisan, located in the south, is one of the five mountain peaks that surround the capital of old Shilla, On December 29, 1957 Jirisan National Park was declared the nation’s first and biggest national park. Its 440.517㎢ area covers Hadong, Sancheon and Hamyang in Gyeongnam Province; Gurye in Jeonnam Province; and Namwon in Jeonbuk Province. The total area is seven times that of Gyeryongsan National Park and 52 times that of all of Yeouido.

The Hadong part of Jirisan National Park is full of great tourist attractions such as Ssanggyesa Temple, Chilbulsa Temple, Bulil Falls, Hwagye Valley, Cheonghak-dong Village and Doinchon Town.

③ Samseonggung

Address : Mukgye-ri 1561-1 Cheongam-myeon Hadong-gun

TEL : +82-55-884-1279          http://www.bdsj.or.kr

It is located at the altitude of 850m over the ridgeline in the west of the valley in which the Taoist village of Cheonghakdong is located. The formal name is Mt. Jiri Cheonghakseonwoen Samsaunggung, and Min Ju Hang (Zen Master Hanpul) from Mukgae restored Sodo of the Gojuseon period in the site of 330 thousand ㎡ in 1983. The palace was named to mean the palace with Hwanin, Hwanwung, and Dangun. Differently from the Taoist village, people from outside cannot enter the palace, and it is the training hall where trainees comply with the Zen principle and practice Sinseondo with Zen Master Hanpul in the center. Zen Master Hanpul and trainees are piling up more than one thousand Sotdaes to announce that this place is Sodo. The pond created to symbolize the Korean peninsula and Manchuria, the soil cave without any sunshine at the daytime, the pavilion, the traditional tea room, Asadal, the Heaven Palace, and the lodging are dispersed here and there and decorated well with the road made up with millstones, mortars, and fulling blocks and the walls. If visitor strikes the gong at the entrance of the palace three times, a trainee comes out from the inside and welcomes the visitor. One of the visitors should wear the garment of a Taoist with the Goguryo style to be guided. It is opened to the public, and Gaecheondaejae is held during the period of autumn tints once a year. At this time, the feats of arms practiced by Zen Master Hanpul and trainees can be seen. To be there, take the bus headed for Cheonghakdong in the Hadong Cross-Country Bus Terminal and get off in front of the palace.