Detail of painted eaves and pillars of the gateway, Temple of Tongdosa

Detail of painted eaves and pillars of the gateway, Temple of Tongdosa

Detail of painted eaves and pillars of the gateway
Temple of Tongdosa, Korea
Photograph by Andi F Yahya, 2007

One of the Three Jewel Temples of Korea, Tongdosa (meaning 'pass into enlightenment') represents the Buddha. Located in South Gyeongsang Province, it was founded in 646 CE by the monk Jajang. This Zen temple is the largest in Korea, with many pavilions, pagodas and stone lanterns. It is often referred to as a 'relic temple' as there are no statues of the Buddha at Tongdosa. However, a number of treasures and holy relics are kept here, including the Buddha's robe, his begging bowl and bone fragments.