Bogwangsa: A Buddhist Temple in Gyeonggi-do, South Korea

Bogwangsa historic prayer hall exterior 2

Not far from my in-laws’ home in Paju there is a historic temple dating back several centuries. Bogwangsa has as its centerpiece a very old prayer hall, very reminiscent of a major temple I once saw in Japan, but on a much, much smaller scale. It is shown both above and below:

Bogwangsa historic prayer hall exterior

The interior is shown below:

Bogwangsa prayer hall interior

Bogwangsa Buddha in prayer hall

Outside, there is a giant statue of what I take to be a Buddha:

Bogwangsa Buddha statue

Other stone iconography on the temple premises include a pagoda:

Bogwangsa pagoda

Bogwangsa pagoda and building

As always, colourful paint plays an important artistic role in the temple grounds–both by its absence on the main prayer hall’s exterior, and by its comparative absence in other places, too. The panel shown below, like much of the painted wood on the grounds, is much less vivid than many other temple panels. I’m not sure how often this temple is repainted.

(Bogwangsa painted panel

The various rear and side prayer halls–on a much smaller scale than the main halls–are a feature of Korean Buddhist temples that I’ve always enjoyed. One such smaller building is shown below:

Bogwangsa rear prayer hall

For some reason, I began noticing brick kilns and ceramic ware in some of the temples I visited on this last trip:

Bogwangsa kiln

Bogwangsa ceramic ware

All in all, a lovely temple and setting indeed.

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