One of the most beautiful temple sites in Korea, with spectacular views. A wonderful weekend trip for the family, less than one-hour drive from Seoul downtown
Recently I’ve read some review about Sujongsa Temple as one of the most beautiful temple sites in Korea. When we looked on the map and saw that the Temple was just a short drive from Seoul we decided to go to visit it last week-end.
Sujongsa Temple is located on the middle slope of Ungilsan Mountain (610 meters above sea level). Taking the forest road leading to the temple is already a great experience. You will enjoy to climb the meandering road in the pine forest until you reach a small parking lot near the temple. After a short walk you will reach the Sujongsa Temple with its amazing and gorgeous view of mountains and rivers. The temple is actually the best spot to watch the Bukhangang and Namhangang River uniting in the single Hangang River at Dumulmeori.
There is an interesting legend about the creation of Sujongsa Temple. It says that in 1458, King Sejo of the Yi Dynasty stayed overnight at Isudu (current Yangsu-ri Village whose original Korean name is Dumulmeori, which means “head of two rivers, Bukhangang River and Namhangang River”) on his way back from the royal tour to Geumgangsan Mountain with his high ranking royal officers. On that night, King Sejo heard the beautifully ringing sound of a bell.
The next day, King Sejo asked the villagers about the origin of the bell sound. The villagers replied, “There is no bell around here, your Majesty, but there is an old site of a temple on the slope of Ungilsan Mountain, and if you have heard any bell sound last night, the bell sound might have come from that site, your Royal Highness.”Hearing these words from the villagers, King Sejo ordered his royal officers to search the old temple site on Ungilsan Mountain on the spot.Then, the royal servants found a rocky cave on the slope of Ungilsan Mountain, where they discovered the statues of 18 Buddha’s disciples . And they found out the fact that dropping water in the cave sounded like a ringing bell. Soon after this mysterious happening, the king decided to build a temple here and called it Sujongsa (water bell temple).
Don’t forget to stop by the tea house in Yaksajon pavilion and enjoy the amazing scenery while sipping your tea.
How to get there
Take Bus #2228 at Cheongnyangni Station, and get off at Jinjung Samgeori Checkpoint just before Yangsu bridge. Walk for about 1 hour, or take one of the three privately-run taxis at Samgeori Store (Cost: about 2,000 won to the entrance of the temple or about 10,000 to the temple itself; telephone: 031 576 3944)
Pass Manguri Gogae from Cheongnyangni Station, and continue straight to Donong Samgeori Continue straight to Deokso and pass Paldangdaegyo (bridge) and dam Make a left turn at Joan-myeon Public Health Center. Or pass the Misari Boat Race Course on the Olympic Expressway, and cross the Paldangdaegyo(bridge). Pass the Paldang Daem and Joan-myeon Public Health Center. The mountain path to Soojongsa is a steep and winding partially-paved road. Use of a car is not recommended during the summer rainy season or the winter icy season. For information about Soojongsa, call : 031-576-8411