Samgwangsa Temple in Busan

Bell pavilion at Samgwangsa. Samgwangsa, meaning "Three rays of light from Buddha", was built in 1969 and expanded in 1982. The temple has the capacity to accommodate 10,000 worshipers at once. Image: Wikicommons
Bell pavilion at Samgwangsa. Samgwangsa, meaning "Three rays of light from Buddha", was built in 1969 and expanded in 1982. The temple has the capacity to accommodate 10,000 worshipers at once. Image: Wikicommons

Samgwangsa Temple in Busan

Dynamic Busan

Samgwangsa Temple is well-known for the approximately 50,000 lanterns that illuminate its campus for Buddha’s birthday.

Located halfway up Baekyangsan Mountain, the temple is a 120,000 square-meter behemoth. Its extensive grounds contain lanterns that create other-worldly wonder after the sun goes down. In 2012, Samgwangsa Temple was recognized internationally by CNN as one of Korea’s most beautiful places.

Built in 1986, Samgwangsa Temple is a representative of the Cheontae Order, one of Korea’s mainstream Buddhist denominations. Its nine-story, 30 meter-high Dabotap Tower is notable as the largest stone pagoda in Asia. Because the pagoda enshrines sari (small crystals sometimes found among cremated remains of monks and regarded as sacred relics), many Buddhists pay tribute to Buddha as they circle around it.

Address: 29-7, Choeupcheon-ro 33beon-gil, Busanjin-gu

How to get there: Take mini bus 15 in front of the medical center across from Lotte Department Store in Seomyeon and get off at the Samgwangsa bus stop.

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