Bomun-sa, Seongmodo’s Temple of Having Sons

DSCF8597

Just to the west of Ganghwa Island is another, smaller island, Seongmodo.

seongmodo

Ganghwa is connected to the mainland by bridge, but Seongmodo is not connected to anywhere by bridge. Therefore, one goes to Seongmodo by taking a ferry from Ganghwa.

The ferry docked in Seongmodo, with Ganghwa island in the distance

The ferry docked in Seongmodo, with Ganghwa island in the distance

Naturally, Seongmodo is even more sparsely populated and rural than Ganghwa.

DSCF8579

The major tourist attraction on Seongmodo is Bomunsa – a Buddhist people where people tend to go to pray for sons. Yep, traditional Korean culture much prefers the birth of males over the birth of females.

DSCF8577

Then again, since this was a weekend, I suspect most of the visitors just wanted a day out and were no motivated by religion or or a desire for sons.

DSCF8578

So, if I am going to some obscure island off the west coast of South Korea, it means I want to add another name to the list of islands I’ve visited expected this temple to be nice, even after visiting many other Buddhist temples in South Korea. At least, the guidebook promised it was a nice temple.

DSCF8587

Above, you can see the entrance to the cave part of the temple, as well as a special old pine tree. The photograph below show how the pine tree looks from behind.

DSCF8580

So, it’s a nice looking temple, but what’s special about it?

DSCF8584

Well, there is this staircase…

DSCF8616

And when you go up the stairs, you can start seeing views…

DSCF8613

You can sit down midway.

DSCF8611

And see more views.

DSCF8598

And if you look down…

DSCF8610

… you can see the temple from above.

So what’s at the top of the stairs?

DSCF8604

It’s a carving of a Buddha on a rock face.

DSCF8612

As far as I know, this carving is not particularly old, nor has any particular story associated with it, unlike the giant stone carving of a Buddha in Woraksan National Park.

DSCF8615

Ah yes, there is one more thing to look at…

DSCF8595

Down there is the little village just outside the temple, and something that looks like mud flats (the the west coast of South Korea is known as one of the great mudflat areas of the world

DSCF8601

And there’s the west sea. I imagine, if I had come in clearer weather, or if I had come in the morning instead of the afternoon, this could have been a more beautiful sight.

DSCF8618

Even though I had gotten a bit temple-weary at this point … that’s counterbalanced by the fact that Korean Buddhist Temples tend to look beautiful in general. And aside from the temples by Sanbangsan, I hadn’t seen any other sea-side temples.

DSCF8617

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Boat, Hike, Incheon, Mostly Photos, Sea, Temple and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Bomun-sa, Seongmodo’s Temple of Having Sons

  1. Pingback: So-Muuido, My Last Full Day in South Korea | S.K. in S.K.

  2. Pingback: SK in SK: Chronological Order | S.K. in S.K.

  3. Pingback: SK in SK: Climates of South Korea | S.K. in S.K.

  4. Pingback: SK in SK: The Landscape of Feelings | S.K. in S.K.

  5. Pingback: SK in SK: Discovery vs. Construction | S.K. in S.K.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s