Monday, October 11, 2010

Geumosan National Park at Yeongnam Region

Geumosan National Park is a famous mountain located in west side of Gumi city in Gyeongsangnam-do (Province South Gyeongsang). Geumo-san Provincial Park is one of the eight famous spots in the Yeongnam region. It was appointed as provincial park in 1970 and equipped with tour facilities. It is composed of rocks so it's very steep. A cable car has been placed from the bottom of the mountain to Dae-hye (Myung-geum) waterfall.

History of Geumosan

The name Geumosan (Mt.) is believed to originate from a story that a person named Ado. When passing by here he saw a golden crow flying into the sunset glow and named it Geumosan (Mt., Golden Crow). He said that it holds the spirit of the sun. Ancient people believed that inside the sun lived a golden crow with the bizarre shape of 3 legs. It was a symbol and core of the sun. The sun was the ultimate and holy object since primitive communities in all regions throughout the world, becoming a religious object of the primitive people. And the golden crow, the core of the sun, was an absolute being to mankind.

The original name of Geumosan (Mt.) was Daebonsan (Mt.), and was also called Namsungsan (Mt.) in the Goryeo dynasty. Its origin was from Sungsan (Mt.) of China, which is one of the 5 famous mountains. Since it was similar in shape and was located in the southern region, it was named as such. There was also Buksungsan (Mt.) in Haeju, Hwanghae-do to make them symmetrical. Munjong (king) of the Goryeo dynasty made his prince enter priesthood and trained him in this mountain. Later He was appointed as the National Head Monk providing councils and missionary work to protect the country. Thus, the dignity and significance of Namsungsan (Mt.) has been historically proved. Geumosan(Mt.) was designated as the first provincial park of Korea on Jun.1, 1970, and has been maintained as a national park for all people in Korea.

How to access Geumosan

The park is just a short taxi or bus ride from downtown Gumi. There’s a tourist village with dozens of restaurants – that’s just above a lake where one can rent duck boats. Above the tourist village, the road leads to a parking lot for the cable car. Here one pays 600 won (about 60 cents U.S.) for adult admission. A short walk up to the cable car, and from here or from the upper terminus, trails continue on up to the summit. Geumo Mountain is 976.6 meters high. Besides its natural features, the park also features several temples. One, Haeunsa, is just a short walk from the upper cable car terminus. Most of these photos were taken in January; a couple in the Spring.

Cable car is 5000 won round-trip for adults, 3500 won one-way. (There's a trail leading back down.) Near the cable car's upper terminus are a Buddhist temple, a waterfall and a cave. There is a restaurant in the upper terminal buildings, featuring bindaeddeok and jeon. The ones in the lower terminal have been torn out and there's an ongoing effort to renovate the whole building.

The best way to get here is to take bus no. 12 or 12-1 from Gumi; both run daily, every 10 to 15 minutes. For those who don't want to hike up the mountain, a cable car now runs up the incline to the entrance to Haeunsa. The ride costs W4,500 ($4.84/£2.44) round-trip, W3,000 ($3.25/£1.60) one-way. It runs daily, every 15 minutes from 9am-4:30pm.

city bus: Gumi → Mt. Geumo parking lot (takes 10∼20minutes, number12ㆍ12-1)
personal vehicle: Gumi → Mt. Geumo parking lot (takes 10minutes)


Geumosan Tourism

There are many things to see such as a waterfall, lake for boating, natural cave, Buddha temple, stoned carved statue etc, there is hiking trail as well.

There's 2km long mountain fortress wall on top of the mountain. In addition, Saahm and Maebosalyipsang are located on the top. There are Haewoon-sa (temple), Dosun-gul (cave) and Daehye waterfall located in the middle of the mountain. Chaemijung that is a tribute to Dr. Giljae is located in the bottom of the mountain. The mountain was called Mt. Namsung in Koryo period.

As you make your way up the mountain, you'll know you're halfway to the top when you reach the Myeonggeum Waterfall. It used to be called the Daehye Waterfall until 1931, when the Myeonggeum characters were etched on the cliff to the east of the falling water. To the right of the waterfall is Doseon Cave, where legend has it that Monk Doseon achieved enlightenment. Nearby (just below the cave) is the temple Haeunsa, which was originally constructed in the late Shilla period, destroyed in 1592, reconstructed in 1925, and restored in 1980.

Another hour's climb from the waterfall leads to the standing statue of Buddha carved in relief on a large rock. Not the best Buddha carving in the country, it was made during the Goryeo Dynasty. Nearby is the hermitage Yaksa-am, built to honor Monk Uisang's attainment of nirvana. Although it was reportedly built during the Shilla Dynasty, no relics have been found to support that claim.


Geumosan Tourist attractions :

1. Daehye (Myeonggeum) Waterfall

Geumosan National Park Daehye Waterfall
Geumosan National Park Daehye Waterfall

This waterfall located halfway up the mountain is 400 meters from the foot of the mountain. The falls themselves are 27 meters to the pool below, providing a breath taking sight and great rushing sound. Daehye is the waterfall's original name. However, around 1931, the characters Myeonggeum were engraved on the east cliff, after which time it has also been called Myeonggeum Waterfall.

2. Doseon Cave

Geumosan National Park Doseon or Toson Cave
Geumosan National Park Doseon or Toson Cave

This cave is located in the middle of the cliff to the right of Daehye Waterfall. The cave has a wide view of the Nakdong River, Gumi Industrial Complex, and Naengsan in Haepyeong in distance. Reportedly, Doseon attained Nirvana in this cave. Doseon was a master of Pungsu Jiriseol- the theory of divination based on topography. Although historians do not know exactly from when the cave has been called Doseon Cave, they guess it started from the early Joseon period.

3. Standing Statue of Buddha

Geumosan National Park Standing statue of Buddha
Geumosan National Park Standing statue of Buddha

This statue of Buddha was carved in natural rock below the mountain top cliff. The relief is 5.5 meters high and is estimated to have been sculpted during the Goryeo period. It has been designated Treasure No. 490.

4. Hae Woon Sa Temple

Geumosan National Park Haeunsa Temple Buildings
Hae Woon Sa Temple

According to board put up in front of temple, it was built at the end of Silla Dynasty(9th century). The temple was decorated with Laterns for Buddha’s birthday which will be on May 24th

Inside the temple there was a 3 feet high gold plated Buddha idol. We sat for a while in front of it for a while, there a Korean lady came and lit a incense stick, we also followed the same.


Geumosan Photos :

Geumosan National Park Cable Car
Geumosan National Park Cable Car

Geumosan National Park Daehye Waterfall
Geumosan National Park Daehye Waterfall

Geumosan National Park Doseon Cave
Geumosan National Park Doseon Cave

Geumosan National Park From Below
Geumosan National Park From Below

Geumosan National Park Hae Woon Sa Temple
Geumosan National Park Hae Woon Sa Temple

Geumosan National Park Hae Woon Sa Temple
Buddha Statue at Geumosan National Park Hae Woon Sa Temple

Geumosan National Park Leaves Fall
Geumosan National Park Leaves Fall


Watch Asian festival at geumosan (October 2008) video here







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