Taebaek-san   태백산
the Grand White Mountain
one of South Korea's Top-12 Sacred Mountains
Cheonje-dan 천제단  [Altar for Offering to Heaven] Peak on the left,
Janggun-bong [Guardian General Peak] behind it, and
Manggyeong-sa [All-encompassing-View Temple] lined up below them,
as seen from Munsu-bong in 1993.     
Neo-Confucian officiants in royal robes stand in front of the famous Taebaek-san
name-pillar, just after the 1993
Gyecheon-jeol cermony at the Cheonje-dan Altar.
The small Seonghwang-dang [Sagely King Shrine] in its
sacred grove, now stuck in the middle of the
[Shrine Valley] parking lots!  on its right side a line of
modernized Jang-seung statues have been erected.
The Taebaek-je Festival on Gyecheon-jeol 2005 was curiously
downsized, compared with previous years.  Apart from the formal
Sanshin-je and the Dangun-je, there wasn't much going on.  In the
main plaza of Dang-gol, there was only this
Baduk tournament.
From a recounting of the Goryeo-sa [royal history of the Goryeo Dynasty]:
When the mystical Buddhist/Daoist monk Myocheong raised a significant
rebellion around 1130
(mostly based on his advocacy of moving the capital northwards to
achieve a superior position according to his
Pungsu-jiri readings) and had a new palace
built in Pyeongyang, some Confucian scholars supporting him approved of his
constructing eight shrines for nation-protecting/benefiting "Immortals", and
advocated that the Spirits of Baekdu-san and Taebaek-san be the first ones
enshrined - demonstrating their primary status.
the Gang of Seven on the trip there October 2-3 2005, sitting in the doorway of the
excellent Yu-jeong Motel in Dang-gol, flanked by neo-traditionalist stone
poles.  clockwise from upper left is Prof. John Dougill of Kyoto, Yana Kim
yoga-teacher & Buddhist)
, Dr. Anne Hilty (a cultural psychologist working in Seoul),
David A. Mason
(slacker & tour-guide), "Freebird" Min Jae-ki (ceo of Buddhist
website-design company)
, So-youn (student) and Tyler S (film-maker & teacher in Daegu).
Anne Hilty's 121 excellent photos from this trip can be viewed HERE.
and her literary essay describing the trip is posted
Index of Taebaek-san Pages:
MAP of Taebaeksan
01  Introduction  (this page)
02  Cheonje-dan and Janggun-bong Peaks, and the Lower Altar
03  Jumok-namu Trees
04  Munsu-bong Peak with its towers and shrines -- and my June 2003 Hike
05  Manggyeong-sa Temple, the highest-altitude monastery in South Korea
06  King Danjong as a Taebaek-sanshin:  the alpine Danjong-wang Bi-gak
the 2005 Sanshin-je Ceremony above Dang-gol
08  Dangun-Seonjeong Shrine in Dang-gol and the 2005 Dan-gun-je Ceremony
09  2006 Lunar-Gaecheon-jeol Ceremony at the Dangun-Seonjeong Shrine
10  Cheongwon-sa Temple in Dang-gol -- Shrine for the Dragon of the Nakdong River
11  the Buljeong-Sandang Shamanic Shrine in Dang-gol
12  Mandeok-sa in Dang-gol -- "Ten-thousand Virtues" Temple with a great Sanshin-do
13  Bae-ssi-Sandang Shamanic Shrine and Daejinju-am Temple in western Dang-gol
14  Other Shamanic Shrines in eastern Dang-gol
15  Baekdan-sa Temple, and the Shamanic Shrines in its Valley
16  Shamanic Shrines in western Baekdan-sa-gol
17  other Shamanic Shrines on the northern slopes of Taebaek-san
18  Yu-il-sa, one of Korea's least accessible temples, but on the BDDG
19  Munsu-sa and other temples of southeastern Taebaek-san
Wolam-sa and Climbing Wolam-bong (Dal-bawi-bong) October 2005
21  "Taebaek-san Jeong-am-sa" Temple on Hambaek-san, founded by Jajang-yulsa
22  other temples and shrines of the Taebaek City area
23  Other Temples considered "of" Taebaek-san, although farther away
24  Cheonje Ceremony of 1989 and 1993
Cheonje Ceremony of 1999
24  Cheonje Ceremony of 2001
25  Cheonje Ceremony of 2004
26  Gakwha-sa and other temples of southwestern Taebaek-san
Kkoldu-bawi of Sang-dong Village
28  Cheongryong-am, Azure Dragon Hermitage -- Sanshin Site on the SE slope
29  Shamans using the Taebaek San-shin Spirit
Also of interest in Dang-gol Valley is the Taebaek Coal Museum
Taebaek-san is listed as one of Korea's most sacred
places on Martin Gray's excellent Sacred Sites of
the World website, on
this page about Korea.

For plenty of information and beautiful photos
of the world's holy pilgrimage destinations,
get his excellent new 275-page book:
Sacred Earth: Places of Peace and Power.
People greet 2009's first sunrise and make their New Year’s wishes on top of Taebaek-san
photo by Kim Myung-sub of The Korea Herald