Sunday, January 28, 2007

아름다운 지리산

I used to buy postcards as souvenir. The postcards that I have collected help me to recall those places that I have visited. However, these days, I depend much more on digital camera to capture images of memorable value that I have neglected visiting souvenir shops to check on the postcards. Perhaps I should try to make a stop at the souvenir shop again next time.

In Busan, many years ago, I bought a pack of postcards on Mt. Jirisan. I never heard of the mountain and neither did I know where the mountain was. I just bought the postcards because they looked nice. Today, as I was clearing my drawer, I came across the postcards again. Pictures of mountain always inspire me. The thought of visitng Mt Jirisan flashed through my mind in that moment. But for now, all I can do is just think.

The postcard pack has some note about Mt. Jirisan. Mt. Jirisan spreads over three provinces, namely, Jeollabuk-do, Jeollanam-do and Gyeongsangnam-do. It is known as one of the three legendary mountains (삼신산-三神山). The other two being Mt. Geumgangsan (금강산-金剛山) and Mt. Hallasan (한라산-漢拏山). With its highest peak, Cheonhwangbong, at 1915 metres above sea level, Mt. Jirisan is the second highest mountain in South Korea (The highest mountain is Mt. Hallasan at 1950 metres). It was designated as a National Park in 1967.

The name 'Jiri' (智異) is translated to be "Exquisite Wisdom", a Buddhist-based term used in the Diamond and Lotus Sutras to describe the extraordinary, refined and precious wisdom possessed by Munsu-bosal (Manjusri-the Bodhisattva of Wisdom) which can be used to enlighten all the universe's beings. Mt. Jirisan has long been associated with this Bodhisattva and there is a common belief that staying for a while in this mountain can transform foolish people into wisemen.

Mt. Jirisan marks the southern end of the mountain range 'Baekdudaegan' (백두대간-白頭大幹) which run longitudinally down the Korean peninsula. The northern end of 'Baekdudaegan' starts at Mt. Baekdu (백두산-白頭山) that spreads across the North Korea and China border. Mt Baekdu is known as Mt. Changbai (長白山) in China. With its challenging terrain, Baekdudaegan is fast becoming the next favourite long-distance trekking trail for adventurers who are seeking out new destination for their adventure.


  1. Mt Jiri is only 1 hour away from where I live. I have been there once in autumn and it was beautiful.

  2. Oh really? I will need to see it for myself.

  3. Mt Jiri looks so beautiful. I must go there one day.

  4. Equinox 씨, start clearing things for your Korea trip already? The arrangment of the post cards is nice and 很細心。