Every Corner of Korea

Sunrise and cloud sea panorama, Okcheon lava temple - Okcheon-gun, Chungbuk, Korea

Sunrise and Unkai from the Daeungjeon Hall in Yongamsa Temple <Photo Credit, Okcheon County Office>

Sunrise and cloud sea panorama, Okcheon lava temple

Okcheon-gun, Chungbuk, Korea

There is a saying in our proverb, 'I heard it in my pocket.' It looks like a shabby bag, but it contains confidential documents. It is a metaphor that people or things seem shabby and ugly on the outside, but in reality, they have extraordinary values and excellent qualities. This is exactly the lava temple in Okcheon, North Chungcheong Province. The shape of the temple is plain. However, the magnificent sunrise spreading over the mountain peaks surrounded by dark clouds in the early morning is an unparalleled scenery. That's why CNN posted lava in '50 beautiful places to go in Korea '.

CNN's breathtaking views of Korea
The sounds of Carol and Salvation Army bells ringing in the streets tell us that the sun is setting again. The day, week, and month we live in is not important, but December has a special meaning in that it organizes one year. With a regret for unplanned plans and a new determination to take what is swaying over it. But it is not easy to find the answer. In this case, let's climb the mountain and look at the wide world. And facing the rising sun, let's spread our heavy shoulders in front of our deep and deep life.
The time to visit the lava temple is when the world is locked in darkness. After diligently climbing the mountain, hold the ground in front of the Daeungjeon Hall or Maaebul, and you will have the opportunity to encounter the sunrise that the three generations can see. You don't have to be afraid to climb a mountain in advance. You can go comfortably to the front of the temple by car.
Yongamsa Temple <Photo courtesy, Okcheon County Office>
These days, the sun rises around 7:30 AM. On a clear day, the view of Okcheon from the lava temple at dawn is surrounded by dark clouds. In the meantime, brilliant red light covers the world. The light emits exceptionally bright light to the distant horizon like a giant wave. It seems as if a bright ray of light descends into hopeless hell. As the gladiolus blooms, the sun is colored slowly at first, and gradually, with a brilliant orange color. Like the delicate brush strokes of the chemical industry.
Okcheon, seen under the eaves of Daeungjeon before the sun rises
The beauty of the bright dawn sky is unparalleled. The reddishness is the culmination of ecstasy, and the cotton-like clouds floating around the vastness show the heavenly sky.
Lava Temple Beomjonggak
A measure with high airway efficacy
When the sun is fully exposed to the world, the lava temple that was hidden in the darkness also reveals its reality. The slopes are stepped up one by one along a steep mountain.
Lava temple
This is a study that was founded in the 13th year (552) of King Jinheung of Silla as the words of Beopjusa Temple, the headquarters of the 5th Diocese of the Korean Buddhism Jogye Order. Chang-Jun Joo is a trustee who went to heaven and returned. The name of the temple comes from a rock that looks like a dragon on the grounds. There is also a theory that Prince Maui, the last prince of Silla, wailed on the way to Mt.
Stairway to Cheonbuljeon
However, there is no trace of time in the present. The temple was recently built. It is presumed that the remains remained unrecovered for a long time because there was a theory that it was ruined by illness during the Imjin War. There is also a story that the Japanese destroyed during the Japanese occupation. It is difficult to discuss the history of the temple because there are no records of heavy water and heavy water since the foundation. However, since the stone pagoda and the Buddha statue of the Goryeo Dynasty still remain, it is assumed that the tradition has continued in the Goryeo Dynasty.
A buddha doll on a stair railing
The temple halls include Daeungjeon, Cheonbuljeon, Sanshingak, Yongwanggak, Yosachae, and Beomjonggak. If you look inside the Daeungjeon Hall, there are three statues of the Guan Yin and Bodhisattva Bodhisattva with the Amita Buddha as the main one. There is no fancy in the Buddha statue, so the gaze is only a moment. On the other hand, there is an eye for tanhwa. There are five paintings, of which elaborate post-war paintings and discreet paintings depicting Buddhist gods created in the 14th year of King Gojong (1877) show the cultural value.
Buddha statues
Behind Daeungjeon is a staircase leading to Cheonbuljeon. Cheonbuljeon is a sculpture that symbolizes the basic idea of Daeseung Buddhism that anyone can become a Buddha. According to the name of Cheonbul, there are small Buddhas sitting on the left and right and back of the center of the Three Buddhas. Stairs continue behind the Temple of Heaven. This is the way to Maebulbul.
Cheonbuljeon from Sanshingak
After passing the mountain shrine, Maaebul appears. The three-meter-high Maae Buddha stands with its feet spread on both sides. The eyes are thin and long, the mouth is small, and the nose is prominent. He smiles, but has a formal side. The shoulders are wide and the arms are rather long. It is presumed to be the work of the early or middle Goryeo period, when the Silla sculpture was formally changed. What is impressive is that Maaebul is reddish. The original color of the rock wall is not red, but someone painted it with red paint.
Mae Fire Painted in Red
It is said that the Prince of Mae was created by people who commemorated him when he stayed here while leaving while wandering with the exorcism of the destruction of Silla. There are many people who come to pray because Maaebul has a spiritual experience to fulfill their wishes when they pray.
Visitors praying in front of Mae Buddha
Ssang three-story stone pagoda with Sancheon Bibo statue
When you climb Yosaechae to the left from Daeungjeon and climb to the top peak, you will meet the 2nd three-story stone tower in the Goryeo Dynasty, which was built on a natural rock. It is a two-story three-storied stone tower (Treasure No. 1338). Standing side by side, it is called a double-story stone pagoda. The two towers have the same shape but differ only in the shape of the upper wheel. The top floor on the 3rd floor has a low rate of diminishing sense of stability. The styles of each department and the method of resolving stone are also very simplified.
East and West Three-Storied Pagoda Standing Side by Side
The copper tower is 4.3m, which is a little larger than the 4.13m west tower. If you look at it, you can see that the west pagoda has less moss and is cleaner than the east pagoda. The 2nd and 3rd floor top priest's body stones were deleted and replenished.
East and West Three-Storied Pagoda Standing Side by Side
The thing to notice is whether the stone pagoda stands on the lower peak of the north side of the temple, not in front of Daeungjeon. This is because it was built in accordance with the Sancheonbi Compassion of creating an ideal site by complementing natural terrain or by harmonizing and balancing strong energy. As it has been confirmed to date, it is the only pair of stone towers built according to the Sancheon Bibosang.
Ssangsaeri Stone Pagoda and Lava Temple Sculptures
Travel information

Lava temple
Address: 400, Samcheong 2-gil, Okcheon-eup, Okcheon-gun, Chungcheongbuk-do
Contact: 043-732-1400


* Self-driving

Gyeongbu Expressway Okcheon IC → Turn right to downtown → Turn left at Okcheon Station three-way intersection → Underground driveway at Jeongsori-ri → Turn left at Jeongsori Agricultural Products Store → Go straight at Jeongsook Reservoir → Jeongseon Reservoir Intersection → Yongamsa Temple

* public transport

[train] From Seoul Station to Okcheon Station, Mugunghwa Lake runs 9 times a day (06: 10-22: 50) and takes about 2 hours and 15 minutes.
[Bus] It runs twice a day (14:00, 18:00) from Dong Seoul Terminal to Okcheon, and takes about 2 hours. Okcheon Intercity Bus Terminal 043-731-5108

2. Restaurants around

Jackpot: Freshwater fish dishes / 1250 Seongwang-ro, Okcheon-eup, Okcheon-gun / 043-733-5788


Flavor Party: Mulmun-myeon / 23-1 Jungang-ro, Okcheon-eup, Okcheon-gun, Chungbuk / 043-732-1827

Yard House: Bibimbap / Nocheon-gil, Okcheon-eup, Okcheon-gun / 043-733-6350
Arirang : Hanjeongsik / 11, Nostalgic 3-gil, Okcheon-eup, Okcheon-gun / 043-731-4430
Gueup Halmae Mukjip: Mook cooking / 46 Nohyang-gil, Okcheon-eup, Okcheon-gun / 043-732-1853


Jangryeong Mountain Recreational Forest: 519 Jangryongsan-ro, Gunseo-myeon, Okcheon-gun / 043-730-3491


Rivera Motel: 1288 Seongwang-ro, Okcheon-eup, Okcheon-gun / 043-731-8713

Myeongga Motel: 1169 Seongwang-ro, Okcheon-eup, Okcheon-gun / 043-733-7744

※ The above information is an update made in December 2017, and may be changed later, so please check before you travel.
※ Information, such as text, photos, and videos used in this article, is copyrighted by the Korea Tourism Organization, and unauthorized use of the article is prohibited.