The Tripitaka Koreana

tripitaka1 Tripitaka2

The more than 80,000 wood blocks preserved here represent the world's most complete collection of Buddhist scriptures, laws and treatises. Commonly known as the Tripitaka Koreana, the printing blocks are regarded as among the world's finest on terms of accuracy, the beauty of the calligraphy and the exquisite carving.

According to an official prayer report written by Yi Kyu-Po, the carving of the Tripitaka Koreana was undertaken to replace a recently destroyed set of wood blocks, the carving of which allegedly resulted in a halt to the khitan invasions in 1011, in the hope that Buddha would intervene to help repel the Mongol invaders. The project was ordered by King Gojong (1213-59) of Goryo (918-
1392) in 1237 and took 16 years to complete, though the actual carving of the blocks took only 12.

The wood blocks have 23 14-letter lines on each side. They comprise 6,708 volumes in 1,501 categories. Of them, 520 volumes were carved at a branch office in Chunju, Gyongsangnam-do.
All the rest were carved at a temple on Ganghwa Island near Seoul. Some wood blocks carved during Joseon (1392-1910) are also stored here.

Tripitaka koreana at Haeinsa temple (81,258 printing blocks)

Designated Number

National Treasure .32

Designated Date



Kaya-myon Hapchon-gun

Material and Size

wood engravings / 81,258 wood blocks


The Korye Dynasty