the mighty "White-Clouds Mountain"
of Gwangyang City on the South Coast
From an official Tour-of-Gwanyang brochure:
"Baegun mountain (1,218m) looks over the historical city of Gwangyang as a father. Seomjin river
flows like a song, and its poetry drifts to Gwangyang Bay like a mother swaying as she holds
Gwangyang to her bosom."
"This land was recognized as sacred by Doseon Guksa (leading monk of the nation) who was the
founder of the 'Theory of Urban Planning' (Pungsu-jiriseol). Baegun mountain is the end of the
Honam-jeongmaek Branch of the Baekdu-daegan, which guides the Seomjin River along its
course. It is the 3rd-highest mountain in the Jeolla Provices, after Jiri-san and Deokyu-san. It has
magnificent features like its peak forking the sky, sharp ridges from the top to Ukbul-bong, and
Dosun Guksa was one of the famous 4 monks of the Unified Shilla period. He stayed and trained
hundreds of followers at the Okryong-saji in Baegun Mountain for 35 years. He was the founder of
the Korean style of 'Pungsu jirisul'. He broke down the 'Chinese Pungsu Jirisang' and founded
'Bibo Pungsu' which focuses on harmony with nature. He was impressed by 'BeagHak-dong in
Beagun Mountain' because, like 'Cheonghak-dong in Jiri Mountain', it is the ideal land without
natural disasters. He is a man with an effect on our people; one who leaves his mark on history.
Currently Gwangyang city is restoring the 'Okryong Temple' and 'Beaghakdong area' which were
destroyed several times, such as during the Japanese invasion.
Beagun mountain was the seat of National salvation activities of the
Honam camouflaged troops during the end of the Japanese occupation due to its rough physical
aspects and valleys. There are still many traces of this, such as 'Resistance Activities'. 'Mechun
Whanghyun' who was a poet and a writer of the 'Deahan Empire' was born here and committed
suicide after the Japanese occupation in 1910. Gwangyang is known for talented men due to the
ancient miraculous energy of Beagun mountain. According to the legend, 'Choi San Do', a great
scholar, was born with the sprit of a Chinese phoenix, and 'Wale Buin' was born with the sprit of a
fox. They say that great riches will
There is 'Pungsu jirisul' (urban planning theory) regarding Gwangyang port. The center of the
container quay in Gwangyang port used to be 'Hapo town' of HongGil-dong in the past. It is the
shape of a big ship going out to the ocean. Based on this 'Pungsu jirisul', Gwangyang port is
currently moving out into the world through its container quay with the sprit of Beagun mountain.
So, the theory has come true.
Beagun mountain provides many benefits to current residents. It is the treasure house of a
preserved ecosystem because it has been unknown for ages. Besides, Gorosuay mineral water
and chestnut trees are a big income resource. Beagunsan natural forest park, developed in 2000,
is a good place for tourists to enjoy the beauty of Beagun mountain.
The antique San-shin
painting enshrined in
Baek-un-sa Temple, as
of spring 1987.
Ongnyong Temple Ruins from
Ongnyong Temple Ruins was National Priest Seongak (Dosun), the great priest of late Shinra
Unification and Korea’s master of Fengsui, stayed for 35 years to teach hundreds of pupils before he
passed away. It is a 1000-year Buddhist Sacred Place that is playing an important role through the
history of Korean Buddhism. Ongnyong Temple Ruins is located in Chusan-ri of Ongnyeong-myeon.
The name "Ongnyong" was given after the provincial name of Doseon "Ongnyongja.” Baekgye
Mountains (505.8M) covering Ongnyong Temple Ruins is a small mountain stretching from the middle
of Baegun Mountains (1,218M). Ongnyong Temple used to be a small pavilion in late Shinra Empire,
but National Priest Doseon reconstructed it in 864. To hold the hundreds of gatherers coming to hear
his lectures and the people of "Ongnyong Temple Sect", Unam Temple was additionally built.
Ongnyong Temple was continuously used despite several fires, but was abandoned after the fire of
1878. Today’s Daeung Temple was built in 1969. There are monuments and towers of National
Priest Doseon and his pupil Great Priest of Tongjin used to be placed in Ongnyong Temple Ruins,
but were lost around 1920's to leave a copy of its epitaph. There are about 7,000 camellias that are
said to have been planted by National Priest Doseon to reinforce the energy of the land, forming 7ha-
wide forest around Ongnyong Temple Ruins. Although the temple was lost along the perilous history,
the camellias stably rooted their positions to keep 1,000-year history. Our district discovered
Ongnyong Temple Ruins, the 407th Historical Relic (National Asset) and identified the sari towers
and monuments of National Priest Doseon and Great Priest of Tongjin and a part of the temple
through three surface inspections and excavations for restoration. Therefore, the local memorial of
Ongnyong Temple Ruins and its camellia forest were appointed 407th Historical Relic.
The Okyongsa (Temple) Site (History Site No. 407), which is located in the center of the forest in Baekgyesan (Mt.),
is the place where the Doseon Highest Priest in the end of Shilla Period taught hundreds of his pupils, and stayed
there for 35 years ; from 37-years-old to his death. The temple was burnt in 1878 along with the camellia forest,
which was planted to supplement the temple site spirit at that time, provides a splendid view.
On the other hand, Gwangyang geometrically corresponds to the center of the hip of the Korean peninsula (Tiger).
The Doseon High Priest built the Okyongsa (Temple) here to increase the effectiveness of the tiger leap. Placing the
temple here meant putting a needle in the Tiger's hip.