Haeinsa is a head temple of the Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism in the Gaya Mountains South Gyeongsang Province South Korea. Haeinsa is most notable for being the home of the Tripitaka Koreana, the whole of the Buddhist Scriptures carved onto 81,350 wooden printing blocks, which it has housed since 1398.
Haeinsa is one of the Three Jewel Temples of Korea, and represents Dharma or the Buddha’s teachings. It is still an active Seon practice center in modern times, and was the home temple of the influential Rev. Seongcheol, who died in 1993.
The temple was first built in 802. Legend says that two Korean monks returned from China, Suneung and Ijeong, and healed King Aejang's wife of her illness. In gratitude of the Buddha's mercy, the king ordered the construction of the temple.
Another account, by Choe Chi-Won in 900 states that Suneung and his disciple Ijeong, gained the support of a queen dowager who converted to Buddhism and then helped to finance the construction of the temple. The Temple of Haeinsa and the Depositories for the "Tripitaka Koreana" Woodblocks, were added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1995.
The UNESCO committee noted that the buildings housing the Tripitaka Koreana are unique because no other historical structure was specifically dedicated to the preservation of artifacts and the techniques used were particularly ingenious. The temple also holds several official treasures including a realistic wooden carving of a monk and interesting Buddhist paintings, stone pagodas, and lanterns.
Janggyeong Panjeon (National Treasure No.52)
The storage halls known as the Janggyeong Panjeon complex are the depository for the Tripitaka Koreana woodblocks at Haeinsa and were also designated by the Korean government as a national treasure of Korea on December 20, 1962. They are some of the largest wooden storage facilities in the world.
Remarkably, the halls were untouched during the Japanese invasion of Korea and were spared from the 1818 fire that burned most of the temple complex down. All told, the storage halls have survived seven serious fires and one near-bombing during the Korean War when a pilot disobeyed orders because he remembered that the temple held priceless treasures.
Janggyeong Panjeon complex is the oldest part of the temple and houses the 81,258 wooden printing blocks from the Tripitaka Koreana. Although the exact construction date of the hall that houses the Tripitaka Koreana is uncertain, it is believed that King Sejo expanded and renovated it in 1457. The complex is made up of four halls arranged in a rectangle and the style is very plain because of its use as a storage facility.
The northern hall is called Beopbojeon (Hall of Dharma) and the southern hall is called Sudarajang (Hall of Sutras). These two main halls are 60.44 meters in length, 8.73 meters in width, and 7.8 meters in height. Both have fifteen rooms with two adjoining rooms. Additionally, there are two small halls on the east and west which house two small libraries.