Pagyesa Temple Gyeongsangbuk-do
Giyeonggak at Pagyesa - Chris Backe
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As part of Palgongsan Provincial Park, Pagyesa is one of many destinations spread out across the mountain. First built in 804 by a priest named Simji, it was renovated in 1605 by priest Gyegwan and 1695 by priest Hyeoneung. With several Daegu Tangible Cultural Properties, 17 buildings and a lot of karma, it’s worth the uphill trek to reach. Just don’t bring a backpack full of stuff with you – even after the bus reaches the parking lot it’s a hike of 1.1 kilometers. Uphill.

It’s worth mentioning that this particular temple isn’t listed in most guide books – it’s overshadowed by the more popular Haeinsa, which holds the Tripitaka Koreana (the 81,340 woodblock scriptures that have survived since the 15th century). But who wants to go to the same place everyone else always visits?

Some rather modern-looking buildings greet you after your trek uphill. The largest building is called 설법전, and is one of the few that features a more modern construction.

Look out for the building named Giyeonggak (기영각 – see picture), the name essentially describes a pavilion (gak) to pray (gi) for King Yeongjo (yeong).