Donghwasa Temple is located to the south of Daegu Jinsan Palgong Mountain. Its name changed into Donghwasa Temple is because the phoenix trees still bloom in winter here. The temple had suffered from destruction and experienced rebuilding for a few times. Most parts of the existing temple were rebuilt during Joseon Yeongjo Period. The inner constructions include central Daeung-jeon, Bongseo-lu symbolizing phoenix, Cheontae-gak, Yeongsang-jeon and Simgeom-dang, as well as the Tongil Yaksa Buddha statue built in 1992. The Buddha statue is in a pretty huge scale with its feet reaching 17m high, and the statue’s building has implied people’s wish for unification. Besides, there are lots of national cultural relics found in the temple, like Geumdangam 3-floor stone tower (No.248 treasure) and Donghwasa Temple construction rods (No.254 treasure).
Donghwasa Temple is the 9th parish temple of Korean Buddhism Jogyejong, representing Palgong Mountain. It’s located to the south of Palgongsan Mountain 22km northeast away from Daegu downtown area. The temple was built by Geukdal during Silla King Soji 15 years (493) and named as Yugasa Temple at the very beginning. It was winter when Simji Wangsa rebuilt Yugasa Temple in King Heungdeok 7 years (832) and the phoenix trees still bloomed inside the temple, then it was renamed as Donghwasa Temple. There are frondent trees at the entrance welcoming you, and the perennial limpid water converges into the waterfall flowing quietly to leave you the tranquility. The Daeung-jeon was rebuilt in 1727, during when there were another 6 Buddhist temple or amja built including Yeombul-am. There’s a plaque of “Yeongnam Chiyeong Amun” (South Chiyeong Bureaucracy Office) hung on the pavilion of Daeung-jeon. It’s said that it was the headquarter of Donghwasa Temple where Master Samyeong commanded the monk soldiers during Imjin Waeran period. On one hand, the Tongil Yaksa Buddha statue inside the temple with 33m high has condensed the wishes of the people building the statue, it’s the administrator of Korean Buddhism Jogyejong’s 9th parish temple in Daegu Gyeongbuk area on the other hand. There are another 6 Buddhist nunneries like Biro-am, Naeweon-am and Yangjin-am, 6 treasures as well as 7 cultural relics designated by Daegu Gwangyeok City. There were more constructions built after the completion of Tongil Yaksa Buddha statue in 1992. The first building you can see in Donghwasa Temple is Bongseo-lu. The Bongseo-lu means “Pavilion where the Phoenix lives”, symbolizing that phoenix only builds its house in the phoenix tree, echoing Donghwasa Temple’s name of phoenix tree flower with each other. The Bongseo-lu was built with square columns to form the entrance and 5 frontage wood carved pavilions to make the particular construction style. There’s a spacious natural stone in the middle of the pavilion’s ascent ladders symbolizing the Phoenix tail, above which the round stones symbolizing Phoenix’s eggs. You will meet the central palace of Daeung-jeon after passing through the Bongseo-lu. The structure of Daeung-jeon is comprised of 3 frontage rooms and 3 side rooms featuring gable roof. The current construction was rebuilt during Joseon Yeongjo Period after a few times of rebuilding. The wry wood are still the pillars delivering the natural beauty. The inner butsudans are used to worship Shakyamuni Buddha, Amitabha and Yaksa Buddha. Those lifelike Buddhas with the gesture of lowering their heads to read make us think of the Confucian scholars in Joseon Period, and those birds of paradise carved in the ceiling are full of vigor as if they were alive.
Main Cultural Heritages
No. 243 treasure of Maae Buddha statue, No. 244 treasure of stone carving Birojana Buddha in Biro-am, No. 247 treasure of Biro-am 3-floor stone tower, No. 248 treasure of Geumdang-am 3-floor stone tower, No. 254 treasure of construction rods
Local cultural heritages: Daeung-jeon, Geuklak-jeon, Budogun
Local folk custom cultural heritages: Sumaje-jeon, Samyeong-dang Daejang Jinyeong