The Popchusa or Beopchusa Temple is one of the sights to visit in Korea as it is said to be the head temple of Jogye, the Order of Korean Buddhism. This temple is situated in the Boeun City in Chungcheongbuk do.
Built by the monk Uisin in the year 653, the structure was said to be dedicated to the Maitreya Buddhism a worship of a future Buddha who is awaited in the modern wall. During the Goryeo Dynasty, it played home to some 3,000 Buddhist monks. Its decline started in the Joseon dynasty when the rulers withdrew support from the religion.
Important sites to see:
1. Palsangjeon a wooden pagoda that was torched during the Imjin Invasion. To those who may not be familiar with it, Imjin is the collective term the locals use to refer to the Japanese invasion that lasted from 1592 to 1598.
Here is another cool trivia. Did you know that Bruce Lee originally chose the pagoda to be the location set of the movie “Game of Death”? He chose this because he wanted to use the five floors of the pagoda to represent the five types of martial arts. Unfortunately, he died before the film was even completed. Since the screenplay was changed after Bruce Lee’s death, the scene in the pagoda was edited out.
2. Another structure to visit is the Golden Maitreya statue that is approximately 33 meters tall. This is a recent addition as it was only completed last 1990. It was meant to replace an old and unsteady concrete structure.
The tall statue is originally made of bronze, but this was later on covered with gold leaf and powder.
3. The original 2.7 meter pot is another important sight to see. It was said that this same pot was used to cook approximately 80 sacks of rice that were enough to feed the 3,000 monks and some pilgrims.
4. The Daeungjeon Hall, this is known to house one of the largest Buddha Halls in the country. The statues found in this hall depict the three deities namely Vairocana, Sakyamuni, and Rochana.