Gyeongsang-do Area

Tongdosa Temple: UNESCO World Heritage

Tongdosa Temple, which is considered one of Korea's Sambo Buddhist temples, is written in the 'SamgukYusa'(The Heritage of the Three Kingdoms)

Tongdosa Temple: UNESCO World Heritage
Tongdosa Temple: UNESCO World Heritage

Tongdosa temple is one of Korea’s five “Palace of the Jewel of Nirvana” temples, where the relics of the Buddha substitute for a statue.

Buddhist temple dedicated to Sakyamuni’s sarira

Tongdosa Temple
Tongdosa Temple: UNESCO World Heritage

In addition to Haeinsa Temple and Songgwangsa Temple, Tongdosa Temple, which is considered one of Korea’s Sambo Buddhist temples, is written in the ‘SamgukYusa'(The Heritage of the Three States), which was founded by monk Jajangyulsa during the reign of Queen Seondeok of Silla. 

Haeinsa Temple with Tripitaka Koreana is a ‘law of Buddha temple’, Songgwangsa Temple is a ‘Buddhist monk temple’ that has produced 16 national monks, and Tongdosa Temple is called ‘Buddha temple’, which houses the Buddha’s sarira of Sakyamuni. 

 Tongdosa Temple
Tongdosa Temple

It is called Tongdosa because the shape of Yeongchuksan Mountain, where the temple is located, resembles that of Yeongchisan Mountain in India where Sakyamuni preached, and the person who wants to become a Buddhist monk has to take a step on the steps of the Geumgang River. 

Jajangyulsa monk kept the sacred shrines, sarira and lyrics in Shrine for Sakyamuni Buddha’s Sarira from the Tang Dynasty and built the Geumgang River staircase in front of it. Those who wanted to become monks were given the throne in front of it. 

Therefore, there is no Buddha statue in the main Hall of temple just like any other Buddhist temple.

The Geumgang River staircase behind Daewoongjeon Hall replaces the Buddha statue. 

Daewoongjeon Hall
Daewoongjeon Hall

The main temple of Korean Buddhist temples: Tongdosa Temple

The main temple of Korean Buddhist temples
The main temple of Korean Buddhist temples

Tongdosa Temple, which claims to be the main temple of Korean Buddhist temples, is a traditional Buddhist temple with numerous cultural assets as a clear consideration of its history and history. 

Daewoongjeon Hall, located in front of the ‘GeumgangRiver steps’, is an important building that has been built for more than 460 years since the Japanese Invasion of Korea. 

The sumidan(a dais for a Buddhist image) installed inside the temple was designed to allow the great monks to climb up and sit down when holding a ceremony or a court to pay tribute to the monks and followers, and usually allow them to give respect to or pay tribute to the steps of the Geumgang River.

The storage of national treasures & UNESCO World Heritage

GeumgangRiver steps
‘GeumgangRiver steps’

Daewoongjeon Hall, designated as National Treasure No. 290, 12 courtyards, including Daegwangmyeongjeon, Yeongsanjeon, and Yeongrak Preservation Hall, which are buildings at the end of Goryeo dynasty, and about 580 compartments in 65-houses, including Bokwangjeon Hall, Gammakmun, Bulimun Gate, and Panjonggak. 

Listening to the sound of valley water flowing down from Yeongchuksan Mountain, the path through the dense pine forest to enter the temple is also beautiful.

Tongdosa Temple
Tongdosa Temple


Activity Information 
Temple stay

Parking Facilities 
(Solbat parking lot, Ilho parking lot, and Sanmun parking lot)

Admission Fees 
Individuals – Adults 3,000 won / Youths 1,500 won / Children 1,000 won
Groups – Adults 2,500 won / Youths 1,200 won / Children 800 won

※ Groups of 30 people or more
※ Seniors (ages 65 and older) and young children (ages 13 and younger) are given free admission.


Parking Fees 
2,000 won for car (under 15 seats) / 3,500 won for bus (15 seats or more)


How To Get Here

By bus
:At first, you need to get to Busan city, take a bus to Tong-do-sa at the Busan central Bus terminal alongside of Nopo subway station in Busan. It takes you 25minutes to get here.
06:30~21:00 every 20minutes

By car
: Take Tongdosa IC on Expressway.
Address: Tongdosa583 Jisan-ri, Habuk-myeon, Yangsan city, Gyeongsangnamdo, South Korea

By KTX(express train)
: Take a train in Seoul to Ulsan, take a bus to Tongdosa at the Ulsan bus terminal.

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