The Jeondeungsa Temple is an old temple of great significance and antiquity to the people of Incheon. Found on Mt. Jeongjoksan, the temple is not only famous for having been around for centuries but is particularly popular for the many attractions the temple has in store.
Monk Adohwasang of Goguryeo originally established the temple during the 11th year reign of King Sosurim of the Goguryeo Dynasty. The temple has had its fair share of devastation through the years that mostly consisted of parts of the building catching fire. At most, the temple was also rebuilt many times in Korea’s history. During the reign of King Chunryeol from 1274 to 1308, Queen Jeonhwa donated a jade lantern to this popular temple. From then on, the temple was then renamed the Jeondeungsa temple.
The exquisite beauty of the temple exterior is only rivaled by its interior beauty. The pillars of the temple are erected on a foundation of stone. The roofs of the temple on the other hand are curved out, pointing to the heavens at every corner. The temple is not only a place for sacraments but is also a place where many attractions lure in visitors of all kinds. Although the temple itself is already a striking feature, the Deungjeon main building and the Yaksajeon building are two other structures worth a mention.
Inside the Deungjeon building is a peculiar statue of a hag with a naked woman at her foot and another structure beside the pillar. Legend has it that the sculpture was made by the head carpenter during the construction of Deungjeon. The carpenter fell in love with a villager who worked at a nearby drinking establishment. As a symbol of his love for the girl, the carpenter gave all his hard-earned money to the woman. The village belle then took advantage of the carpenter and ran away with all his money. The carpenter was devastated with his loss, and as an act of revenge, he worked for several days to create the eerie and bizarre sculpture of the women.
On the other hand, the Yaksajeon building has sculptures that are nothing but splendid to the sight. The ceiling of the building is fascinatingly carved inward with detailed and colorful carvings of lotus flowers. The courtyard of the temple is also home to a bell called Beomjong which is believed to have belonged to the Song Dynasty of China.
The Jeondeungsa Temple is exquisitely beautiful both in the morning and evening with fantastic views of the sea from the precinct of the temple. A well-loved national activity in Jeondeungsa is catching the first rays of the sun falling on the roof of the temple. It then comes as no surprise that many of its visitors try to catch the temple at greeting sunrise.
After a visit to the famous temple, many visitors head to the nearby and equally famous Jukrimdawon Tea House. This place is a great place to relax those tired feet as visitors sip on some of Korea’s best tea selections. The Jeondeungsa temple can indeed attest to the remarkable architecture of Korea that has been long evident since the early times and can still be appreciated by today’s generation.