Site of Hak-san Gulsan-sa
once-great temple founded by Beomil-guksa,
9th-Cen, in Odae-san's Eastern Foothills
an important sacred site with stone relics,
involved with the Gangneung Dano-je Festival
National Master Beomil (810～889)
National Priest Beomil of Daegwallyeong
Beomil [梵日, 810-889] Buddhist Priest from the Shilla Unification
Other names ? Pen Name: Tonghyo, Pumil
Family name is Kim and pen name is Tonghyo.
Also called Pumil.
He left for Buddhist meditation at the age of 15 and received the
rules of Buddhist priest in 829 (4th year of the reign of King
Heungdeok) in Gyeongju. He followed Kim, Ui Jong to the Tang
Dynasty of China and studied beneath Jean for six years.
In 844 (6th year of the reign of King Munseong), he hid in
Sangsan because the King executed Buddhist priests and
demolished the temples. He came back in 847 (9th year of the
reign of King Munseong) and began meditating in Mt. Baekdal.
He spent 40 years at Gulsan Temple. He refused the positions
as royal or national priest offered by King Gyeongmun, King
Heongang, and King Jeonggang and only concentrated on
meditation and Buddhist studies.
The following is the mythology of Priest Beomil’s birth from
There was a virgin in Hakvillage. One day, she scooped a bowl
of water and the Sun came down to the bowl. After she drank the
water, she got pregnant and gave birth to a boy in 14 months.
Because she gave birth to a baby as a virgin, the villagers made
up bad rumors about her. Out of shame, her parents discarded
the baby under a rock. When they revisited the rock in several
days, they found the baby alive and well, being fed by the
cranes. Awed by the mysterious sight, they named the baby
Beomil and took him back home. Beomil grew up to be very
talented and smart.
Seokcheon Spring, where Priest Beomil’s mother drank the water
and got pregnant, is located in the center of Hakvillage and the
rock where he was protected by the cranes (Hakbaui) is located
behind the village.
Beomil Priest’s pagoda is standing by the path to Hakbaui. Also,
Gulsan Temple’s Columns are one of the largest in Korea with a
height of 5.4m.These columns tell us how enormous Gulsansa
Gulsansa Temple Site Pagoda
Gulsansa Temple Site Pagoda (Treasure No. 85)
Location: 731 Haksan-ri Gujeong-myeon Gangneung, Gangwon-do
Type and Size: Granite, 3.7m in height
Period: Goryeo Dynasty
Designation: January 21, 1963
This type of pagoda is a tomb that enshrines the sarira, or bones, of a Buddhist priest. This
particular pagoda is built on the stylobate which consists of a foundation with lions on eight
sides, a cloud-patterned supporting rock and another supporting rock placed on top of the
foundation, and a performing god in the center of eight cloud-patterned columns.
The body on top of a locus flower patterned supporting rock has an engraving of a lock
and a handle. The top part has a cover stone, eight-sided flower patterns, and a top
ornament with lotus pattern.
This pagoda is the shrine of National Priest Beomil, the founder of Gulsan Temple.
Gulsansa Temple Site Columns (Treasure No. 86)
Location: 1181 Haksan-ri Gujeong-myeon, Gangneung, Gangwon-do
Type and Size: Granite, 5.4m in height
Period: Shilla UnificationDesignation: January 21, 1963This type of columns comes in a
pair and is erected by the entrance or in the front yard of a temple to fix the flagpole.
Flags are hung on the flagpole for events or rituals or to commemorate the virtue of
Buddha or Bodhisattva.
These columns do not have the flagpole and are located to the south of Gulsansa Temple
Site. Gulsansa Temple was where National Priest Beomil stayed in the late Shilla
In his time, Seonjong Order was very popular and nine sectors were particularly powerful.
Gulsansa Temple was the leading temple for Gulsansa Sector. The columns are 5.4m in
height and are facing each other in a 1m distance.
They are made of massive stones and are one of the largest columns in Korea.
The columns preserve the scar of chiseling from the refining process and do not have any
decorations, which make them look rather dynamic and dignified.
The columns are gradually rounded towards the top and the peak is pointed. Round holes
are penetrated on the top and the bottom to fix the flagpoles.The columns’ magnificence
and dynamics represent the powerful energy of the late Shilla Unification and the early
Gulsansa Temple Site Seated Stone Buddha
Gulsansa Temple Site Seated Stone Buddha (Cultural Item No. 38)
Location: 603-1 Haksan-ri Gujeong-myeon Gangneung, Gangwon-do
Type: A Statue of Stone Buddha
Period: Goryeo Dynasty
Designation: June 2, 1984
This seated stone Buddha was created in the Goryeo Dynasty.It is difficult to figure out its
complete form because the face is severely worn, the body is cracked, and the lower body
is almost lost.
The hands are also difficult to make out, but since both hands are lifted up to the chest with
the left hand slightly higher than the right hand, it is presumed that the hands are telling
that Buddha is one with the world. This type of hands is usually seen on Virojana Buddha,
the symbol of truth.
The head has thick hair in the shape of a turban.
The shoulder is rectangular and firm but the rest of the body shows no bodily curves. On
top of the head is a natural stone with no engravings, which is thought to have been added
later on.It is very difficult to determine when it was created solely based on the remainder,
but the turban on the head and the physique with no curves suggest the Goryeo Dynasty.
Gulsansa Temple Site
Gulsansa Temple Site (Historical Relic No. 448)
Location: 572 Haksan-ri Gujeong-myeon Gangneung, Gangwon-do
Type: Temple Site
Period: Shilla Unification
Designation: June 2, 2003
There is no accurate record on when Gulsansa Temple was established and abolished,
but it is known to have been very prosperous in the Goryeo Dynasty.
We do not know how it looked nor its accurate location and size. Considering the nearby
relics and sites, we can assume that Gulsansa Temple was very large.
Seokcheon Spring and Hakbaui nearby cherish the story of Priest Beomil’s mysterious birth.
The legend has that National Priest Beomil’s mother got pregnant with him after drinking a
bowl of water from this spring. Unfortunately, Seokcheon Spring’s original form was lost in
2002 by Typhoon `Rusa.' It was later restored, but does not spring water anymore.
This was where Priest Beomil was discarded after his birth. Cranes came to protect and
feed Priest Beomil until his mother came back to take him home.
Odokttegi Training Center
Haksan Odokttegi: Intangible Cultural Asset No. 5Location: 628
Haksan-2-ri Gujeong-myeon Gangneung, Gangwon-doHaksan Farm Songs Preservation
Society: 033-647-9567The folk songs of Haksan have been succeeded from the Shilla
Dynasty. Farmers sing humbly native and cooperative songs from the time they seed
plants in spring until they harvest them in autumn. They even converted sadness into
excitement and have succeeded their songs for over 1,000 years. The training center was
opened to preserve and succeed the folk songs before they get lost in modern culture