Shinhuengsa Temple, the oldest Zen temple in South Korea, was built by a traveling Shilla monk by the name of Jajang Yulsa in 652 AD, and has been destroyed by fire and rebuilt many times since. The current incarnation of the temple dates back to 1648.
Located in Seoraksan National Park near the Sokcho entrance, the temple features a three-level pagoda, 1,400-year-old, an original stone Buddha statue and a newer bronze Buddha statue depicting a 33-foot (10-meter) seated likeness of the Buddha.
Visitors looking for a more in-depth temple experience can participate in Sainhuengsa’s Temple Stay Program, which provides tourists the opportunity to spend two or three days in the temple living the typical life of a Korean Buddhist monk.
Shinhuengsa Temple’s location within the national park makes it a convenient stop on your way to or from Mt. Seorak.