Korea's "Cold Mountain"
a.k.a. Bukdu-san "North Head Mtn"
Hill-Cliffs with Punghyeol Caves and Temples
a County Park of southern Uiseong-gun
Bingsan Gyegok Valley
|on an unfortunately hazy & rainy day in August 2013...
|really a beautiful place, and fairly well-developed for tourism
-- although quite far from "anywhere"...
|one of the larger punghyeol cavern-outlets from which cold air flows out
|...and one of the smaller ones
|Like sitting in front of an air-conditioner! my back was quite chilled in 2 minutes...
|It is recorded that 9th-century sage Go-un Choi Chi-won stayed here during one or more hot
summers, enjoying the cool air flowing out from these punghyeol and thereby balancing his
physical energies and refreshing his mind -- living at the Buddhist temple on the next page.
|Just downhill from the ruins of Bingsan-sa Temple is a small compound with the partly
reconstructed Ingak-sa Confucian Shrine, which may once have enshrined a portrait of
Choi Chi-won, for ritual-commemerative purposes associated with the Seowon (below).
|Just inside the entranceway stands the rebuilt Binggye Seowon, a private Neo-Confucian
academy established in 1566 by local philosopher-scholar "Hoidang" Shin Won-rok, and
then upgraded to a seowon with a shrine honoring him by his disciple "Mojae" Kim An-guk.
The name "binggye" is a condensation of "Bing-san Gyegok". After 1600 several other
famous scholars taught here, including "Hoijae" Yi Eon-jeok and "Hakbong" Kim Seong-il.
|There is also an old legend associated here, that Great Buddhist Master Wonhyo
retreated to this "ice-cave" valley to cool-off his bodily energy after his torrid one-
night-stand with Princess Yoseok, a famous tryst down in the Shilla Kingdom's
capital Gyeongju that produced the Confucian scholar Seol Cheong (late 7th cen).