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Published: January 28th 2012
Jogyesa Buddhist Temple is located near Anguk Station, off line #3 in the central Insadong area. Here the temple is surrounded by practicing monks and shops which sell everything a monk might need; hats, clothes, winter gloves, incense, burners, bracelets, indoor shoes, socks, Buddha statues, calendars, prayer beads, musical instruments and more. Every shop has something to offer the "well to do being" who visits the temple. There is even a store on the grounds for a variety of other "monk essentials."
However this is not why we came to Jogyesa Temple. This is one of the most accessible temples in Seoul besides Bongeunsa Temple on the south end of the city. There are over forty temples throughout South Korea which Lonely Planet introduces within their pages. Inside Seoul proper there are only four temples but none of them are used as much as Jogyesa.
On a daily basis over 10,000 people visit Jogyesa to pray inside its main temple. The grounds are made up of 5-buildings: main, bell, administration, funeral, and 5-stone pagoda. Several outer buildings add to the ambiance of the main courtyard. Passing through the main gate you are immediately surrounded by silence. A quiet peaceful
place to worship and view the 500 year old main temple building. People come here to pray. Wandering through the courtyard an 85-foot Locus tree greets you as you witness people bowing, praying, hands pressed together circling the 5-stone pagoda or lighting candles and incense. People move into the main temple to kneel and pray to Buddha. Prayers are made on small mats before three 4-storey Golden Buddhas. Along the exterior walls paintings depict the history and teachings of Buddhism. The tranquility surrounds the grounds. People moving about in silent prayer. Being one with their Buddhism. Standing, sitting or walking you feel the tranquility within the courtyard, building or main temple. Chimes, incense, monks, prayer, silence: Jogyesa Temple is a place of worship and a sanctuary away from the heavy sounds on the streets of Seoul.
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