Juwang-san or "the Mountains of the King of Ju" is a National Park in North Gyeongsang
Province, located between Andong City and the East Coast. It is a key section of the
Taebaek-sanmaek [Grand White Mountain Range] as it runs south of Taebaek-san down to
Gyeongju. It is famous for its astoundingly beautiful scenery, and sacred because of the
legend of the Chinese rebel "King of Ju" and his daughter who hid and died here. These
mountains contain a dozen interesting temples, half-a-dozen great waterfalls and more
steep pine-decorated granite cliffs than a rock climber could dream of...
Juwangsan is the mountain composed of valleys with curious stones. Juwangsan National park is relatively low and small but it creates a
beautiful landscape. Having lots of legends, scenic figures and curious rocks, it attracts many visitors every year. It is called Sogeumgang, the
most beautiful place in Gyeongsangbuk-do area, and one of the three great mountains in Korea, having many fantastic rocky cliffs and
The mountain was designated as the 12th National Park on March 30, 1976 in Korea, neighboring Choengsong-gun and Yeongdeok-gun in
Gyeongsangbuk-do and covering 107.425km2 of the area. Centering around Juwangsan, Taehaeng-san(933m), Daedunsan(905m),
Myeong-dongjae(875m), and Wanggeoam (907m) are spreading like a folding screen.
When people think Juwangsan Naitonal Park, they make a mistake to think about only Juwangsan but Juwangsan only covers less than a tenth
of entire district. Juwangsan leads to Taehaengsan, Daedunsan, Daegwallyeong, Useoll-yeong, and Mujangsan in the north, and it is only a
peak situated in big ridges.
However, Juwangsan is still beautiful and there are Gamebong, Wanggeoam and Geumeungwangi which are around 800m high peaks near
Juwangsan shaped like a horse hoof creating magnificent atmosphere.
Juwangsan originally called as Seokbyeongsan, Daedunsan, Jubangsan and there are interesting stories respectively. It was called
'Seokbyeongsan' because of lots of rocky cliffs; Daedunsan for people escaped from war and hid here, Jubangsan for Kim Juwon, the
offspring of King Seondeok of Silla stayed in the mountain. And King Ju of China (Dang Dynasty) hid in this mountain when pursued by
Giam (the rock of falg), the representative clear water of Juwangsan, there is a legend that when King Ju had a severe battle with Silla, he
made these curious rocks to look like stacks of grain. The most distinguished fact about the curious rock is its smoothness compared to the
other rocks found typically in Korea. It is about components that consist of the rock. Giam made of lava flow down from a volcano and became
Like Giam, most of the cliffs in Juwangsan were made by volcanic activity. It is different from rocks found in Jeju Island which have lots of holes
in them. Holes are made when lava erupted to the sky, falling down to the earth with air. But rocks in Juwangsan had no air in them because
they were hardened very fast without having holes. And the rocks were vulnerable to erosion, creating a vertical cliff, stairs topography, and
The volcanic activity was supposed to happen about 70 million years ago when dinosaurs lived on the Korean Peninsula in the Cretaceous
period, the Mesozoic Age. Juwangsan was made around this time together with Naeyeonsan near the mountain, and Bohyeonsan in
Yeongcheon, Unmunsan in Cheongdo, Geoje in Namhae, Goheung peninsula, Wando(Island), and Jindo(Island).
Juwangsan is also famous for its legend. Juwang(King) hid in this mountain when pursued by revolutionaries. Dang Dynasty asked Silla to kill
Juwang, Silla sent General Ma with five brothers. When King Ju had a severe battle with Silla, he made curious rocks that looked like stacks of
grain and pretended that he had many soldiers. With this legend, Mujanggul(Cave) where King Ju of China hid weapons,
Jahaseong(Jubang-sanseong fortress wall), that were built by his soldiers from the mouth of Juwangsan to Nahanbong to protect himself from
Silla, and Yeonhwagul where a daughter of Juwang entered Nirvana, also Juwanggul is known for the cave where Juwang died while he
washed himself with water of a cave. The blood Juwang shed became a kind of azalea flower, Sudalrae, and they are in full blossom from the
late of spring to beginning of summer. The flower is much more reddish than azalea and has black spots in it. It is considered as the proud
scene of Juwangsan and there is 'Juwangsan Sudalrae festival' every May.
There is another legend saying Kim Juwon of Silla Dynasty lived in Juwang. At the end of Silla Dynasty, Kim Juwon was recommended as the
next king following King Seondeok, but Kim Gyeongsin revolted and became king. Kim Juwon couldn't be a king and hide himself in
'Seokbyeongsan'. There still remain several tiles that prove his residence, Gungji.
Juwangsan National Park has many beautiful spots to visit such as Haksodae, where blue and red cranes lived, Geupsudae, Giam where
Juwang and General Ma had big fight, Mangwoldae where sons and daughters of Juwnag looked at the moonrise, Gamebong where visitors
can see far away in the East sea, Juwanggul where King Ju died, and numerous waterfalls and springs attract visitors.
For the main cultural heritage, there is Bogwangjeon in Daejeonsa(Temple) built during the year 12th of King Munmu of Silla Dynasty (672)
|Spectacularly Beautiful Mountains
with Fascinating Legends
National Park in Cheongsong and Yeongdeok Counties
|one of the opening pages of my 1999 book (2002 Korean Edition used here) shows the Bogwang-jeon Hall and
original Sanshin-gak of Juwang-san Daejeon-sa, with inset of the stone Sanshin in the cave at Juwang-am.