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 - images from KAYASAN -

featuring

scenic mountainJeilbong

- the Haeinsa temple -

and the World famous Tripitaka Koreana
 
 
 
 


Kayasan
- a view towards Kayasan from the Hongnyu-dong valley -
(Photography by Karsten Petersen)






Here is another very scenic national park, - Kayasan -, which is beautiful in any season.
A story goes, that a French ambassador to Korea once visited the beautiful valley leading up to the Haeinsa temple and got so impressed by the scenic beauty and special atmosphere of the place, that he decided, that when he died, he would like his ashes to be spread over this area, - and his wish was fulfilled!

The park is named after its highest peak,- Kayasan, 1430 meters -, but there are other peaks well worth to climb.
One is the Jeilbong, which I liked so much that I climbed it a couple of times, but from different directions.
(That's why the keen observer will notice, that the light appears totally different on some of the Jeilbong pictures!)

An extra bonus to the Kayasan mountain is the Haeinsa temple,- one of Korea's three jewel temples -, where a truly a unique library of more than 80,000 old wood printing blocks, - the Tripitaka -, are stored.
These about 80,000 hand engraved wood blocks were made way back in year 1251 as a plea to the Buddha for aid against invaders.
As history has shown, the invaders could not be kept from Korea's doorstep, but any invading force eventually vanished, - being it Mongols from the east or Japanese from the west -, but the old printing blocks with Buddha's teachings are still there, - as is Korea!
So????  Who knows - - - ???

But for now, - please enjoy some of my impressions from my first trip to the Kayasan National Park in 1996.
I had just signed off a ship, and had no mountain boots or parka coats with me, - and it was winter!
Never have I been freezing so much,- but I HAD to climb those magnificent mountains in the icy wind -, and it was very well worth it, but I cannot recommend anybody to climb mountains in Korea during winter time without proper mountain gear!  :-)
 
 


Kayasan
- a view from Kayasan towards Jeilbong -
Jeilbong is the very conspicuous knob like peak in the middle mountain range you see in this picture.
(Photography by Karsten Petersen)
 
 
 


Kayasan
- the trail to the top of Kayasan -
(Photography by Karsten Petersen)
 
 
 


Kayasan
- view from the top of Kayasan -
 - Jeilbong can be seen in the distance at the upper right corner -
(Photography by Karsten Petersen)
 
 
 


Kayasan
- looking down -
(Photography by Karsten Petersen)
 
 


Kayasan
- on the top of Kayasan -  1430 m.
- happy but freezing local climbers, - and ME -, freezing even more -
(Photography by unknown Korean hiker on top of Kayasan)
 
 


Kayasan
- here another view from the top of the mighty Kayasan, - with beautiful ice flowers -
(Photography by Karsten Petersen)
 
 
 


Kayasan
 - and more ice flowers -
(Photography by Karsten Petersen)
 

--------------------------------------------------------------
 
 

Jeilbong

Now a series of pictures from climbing the Jeilbong, .- another beautiful mountain in Korea's Kayasan National Park -
 
 



Kayasan
- view to the Jeilbong as seen from the Hongnyu-dong valley -
(Photography by Karsten Petersen)
 
 
 


Kayasan
- mountain scenery on the way up Jeilbong -
(Photography by Karsten Petersen)
 
 
 


Kayasan
- some strange rocks on the way up to the top of Jeilbong-
(Photography by Karsten Petersen)
 
 
 


Kayasan
View down - - -   great rocks - -
(Photography by Karsten Petersen)
 
 
 


Kayasan
- the heavily eroded top of Jeilbong -
(Photography by Karsten Petersen)
 
 
 


Kayasan
- standing on the very top of Jeilbong -
(Photography by Karsten Petersen)
 
 
 


Kayasan
- view from Jeilbong -
(Photography by Karsten Petersen)
 
 
 
 


Kayasan
- view from Jeilbong -
(Photography by Karsten Petersen)
 
 
 


Kayasan
- view from the top of Jeilbong towards Kayasan -
Strange to think about the fact, that a few days earlier I actually stood on top of this great mountain-
(Photography by Karsten Petersen)






The famous Haeinsa temple is seen in the lower left side of the picture -
More about this unique temple will follow on the next page - - -

But first, - after another icy cold day in the mountains, - what can be better than visiting a friendly monk, - and getting some hot tea in his warm room?
Here the lonely monk in Huirang-dae, - "The Hermitage of Master Huirang"-, is serving tea for a tired and very cold traveler, - ME!
After that he spent the rest of the day guiding me around the mountain slopes and showing me "hidden" Buddhist sites and secrets.
He did not speak a word English, and my Korean, - to put it mildly -, is not really anything to boast about, but still he knew exactly what I was interested in  - -

How did that come about?
Well, - I really do not know, but it has happened several times during my many travels in Korea - -
Maybe by their great insight in the human nature, - and a deep knowledge of "how things are"  -, those friendly monks could actually by instinct read my mind and "feel" a deep and genuine interest from my side  - - -
Being a Buddhist myself could also have triggered this instant bond, that cannot be explained, but maybe somehow felt by the monks in their hermitages in the mountains -  or for that matter, - in the big cities too!
They just seem to "know", regardless if it happen in the middle of Seoul or on a remote mountain - - -
The strange thing is, that whenever it happens, it does not really matter if we can communicate in language or only by "mind" - - -
Both methods, - language or "mind" -, work perfect!
 
 


Kayasan
Here the lonely monk occupying Huirang-dae, - "The Hermitage of Master Huirang".
(Photography by Karsten Petersen)





Let's finish this page with a picture of the "Hermitage of Master Huirang" - - -
Take note of the great foundation of natural rocks and stones - -
 
 


Kayasan
- "Huirang-dae" -, the "Hermitage of Master Huirang" -
(Photography by Karsten petersen)
 

Click here for my impressions of the truly unique main temple -
HAEINSA
 

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  Updated:  June 23rd. 2003
                  Nov.01st.2004
                  Nov.11th.2004
                  March 07. 2005
                  March 14. 2005
                  Feb.24.2008