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2009-10-11 - Magoksa Panorama.jpg
Panorama over Magoksa
Korean name
Hangul 마곡사
Revised Romanization Magoksa
McCune–Reischauer Magoksa

Magoksa is a head temple of the Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism in Gongju, South Korea. It is located on the eastern slope of Taehwasan, on taegeuk-shaped bend in the Taegeukcheon Stream.[1]

Magoksa is believed to have been established in 640 or 642 by the monk Jajang of Silla,[1] however, this account is in dispute by some since Gongju would have lain within Baekje territory at that time.

Whenever it was actually built, it was certainly operational during the Baekje Dynasty and the temple has lasted since that time to the present day, as evidenced by it containing manuscripts made with liquid gold and silver - relics from the late Goryeo period.[2]

The temple, used as a place of refuge during the early Joseon Dynasty, was left largely untouched by the Seven Year War of the 1590s. It continued to play this role in the 20th century, when used as a hideout by Korean independence leader Kim Ku, who is also known to have planted the Chinese junipers seen here.[1]


Legend tells us that when Jajang came to the eastern slope of Taehwasan where Magoksa is found he decided to establish a temple and call it magok, which means Flax Vally. Jajang felt that many good priests could come from the area "to cause the rapid growth of Buddhism", like the rapid growth of the flax plant that grows here.[3]


  • Treasure #799 - Magoksa houses a five-storey, Ocheung Stone pagoda. The pagoda is one of only three in the world the top embellished with bronze, suggesting influence from Tibetan (Lama) Buddhism.[1]
  • Treasure #800 - Yeongsanjeon
  • Treasure #801 - Daeungbojeon
  • Treasure #802 - Daegwangbojeon
  • Treasure #1260 - Gaebultaeng of Buddha, a woodblock print from the 13th year (1687) of King Sukjong, in color on hemp cloth.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d "Official Site of Korea Tourism Org.: Magoksa Temple". Korea Tourism Organization. Retrieved 2009-11-03. 
  2. ^ "Korean Traditional Temple". Korea Temple. Retrieved 2009-11-03. 
  3. ^ Adams, Edward (1983). Korea Guide-Mogaksa. Seoul, South Korea: Seoul International Tourist Publishing Company. p. 211. 
  4. ^ "". Retrieved 2010-12-09. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 36°33′33″N 127°00′45″E / 36.55917°N 127.01250°E / 36.55917; 127.01250