Source: Tongdosa Temple

Tongdosa Temple

Yangsan, Korea

Tongdosa, now Jogye Order but originally Seon, was founded by the Venerable Jajang upon his return from China in 646 AD; it claims to house some actual relics of the Buddha that Jajang had brought back with him from China. Mostly destroyed during the Imjin Wars (1592-1598), Tongdosa's present buildings date from the 17th century and later. The temple today is one of the largest in Korea: hugely popular with visitors, ordaining monks, and training all comers in study, chanting, and meditation.

Notice that the top of this map points west, not north; north is to the right. The temple authorities drew it that way because Tongdosa's axis, along which its main courtyards and buildings are located, runs up Chiseosan1 Mountain from bottom (east) to top (west): that is Pure Land geomancy. But the boundary river to the south is fengshui. Tongdosa extends quite far in all directions, with many hermitages and other buildings that are not shown on this map.

Because of changes in spelling, my names for some of the buildings may differ from those on the map. I also use the terms "West Courtyard" and "East Courtyard" to locate buildings. "West" is the upper courtyard, between Buri-mun and Daeungjeon. "East" is the lower courtyard, between Buri-mun and Cheongwang-mun.

1. Tongdosa Official Website
2. Asian Historical Architecture

1Chiseosan is the name of the mountain, but Yangsan is the name of the closest town.