the "Guardian-Shrine Valley"
Long Remote Samjang-cheon Stream-Gorge -- with shrine-sites?
in the Eastern (SW Sancheong County) Sector of Jiri-san
Over on the eastern slopes, in Sancheong-gun County's Samjang-myeon District, there is a long
remote valley labeled Jangdang-gol [Guardian Shrine Gorge, or maybe Magnificent/Strong
Shrine Gorge] following the Samjang-cheon [Three-Valiant or Triple-Splendid Stream], which
ends just about at the famous Naewon-sa Temple on Jiri's SE. With a cement or dirt road
running beside the stream, it snakes 6 km up N/NW from the monastery, from about 300m to
700m altitude, where it divides; to the left the road ends almost 2 km later at 900m, and to the
right the stream continues up what is called Hanbat-gol on some of my maps, about 3 km until it
meets the main hiking trail between Daewon-sa and Cheonhwang-bong Summit, and then the
stream finishes (originates on the maps) at the Mujae-chigi-pokpo Waterfall (near that trail).
This is the end of the Samjang-cheon Stream, just after it exits from
Jangdang-gol Gorge to the right (east) of Naewon-sa Temple.
What really grabbed my attention here is that along the middle reaches of this Jangdang
Gorge there are three tiny settlements of a few buildings each indicated, "Jeomteo" first,
then "Ba-ggat-jang-dang" and "An-jang-dang" -- these jang-dang probably mean
Guardian Shrine, and these probably were Shamanic Sites of some significance, but
now just ruined sites where something like that once was.
The lower half of the Jangdang-gol is labled on some maps as the "Naewonsa gyegok",
but that's a mistake -- the "Naewon Temple scenic-gorge" is the valley running west then
northwest from Naewon-sa up to Guksu-bong, containing Naewon Village and a few
hermitages and shamanic shrines.
I found the entrance to Jangdang-gol Gorge in February 2007, but it was then closed for
"nature-protection", no driving or hiking in is allowed -- no dates or reason on the sign,
don't know if it's just closed for the season (fire danger) or will be for years (restoration
or as a half-moon black-bear habitat)... Because access to this long valley is closed, I
am presuming that any shamanic shrines in it are no longer active... but I'm very curious.
If anyone reading this has ever been up there and has information
and/or photos, please contact me about this.
|the clean rushing waters of the Samjang-cheon