Located up a mountainside at the back of lush Palolo Valley, the Mu Ryang Sa Buddhist Temple offers tranquil beauty and stillness to visitors. Whether or not you are religious, the temple has something to offer any visitor with incredible architecture, rich spiritual significance, and beautiful gardens.
The Hawaiian Islands are composed of a beautiful rainbow of cultures and nationalities who call this paradise ‘home,’ and the huge variety of religious practices and traditions carried out in close proximity to each other are a reflection of this. Oahu is home to several beautiful Buddhist temples, one of my favorites of which is the Byodo-In on windward Oahu. The Mu Ryang Sa is a bit more out of the way, but a beautiful site and I was happy to discover it before moving off of Oahu.
Built in 1980, Mu Ryang Sa, meaning Broken Ridge Temple, got its name from the broken ridge along the top of the temple. When it was first built, the top of the main hall went beyond City and County height restrictions. Because of this, the roof had to be lowered, which resulted in both the broken ridge and the temple’s name.
It is the largest Korean Buddhist Temple outside of Korea itself, and its architectural styles follow those of historical Korean temples. In addition to being a religious temple, it is a community center for the local Korean culture, as well.
Visitors enter through the Gate of the Four Heavenly Kings, who, according to Buddhist teachings, keep out evil influences.
In the center of the property is the Peace Pagoda, which is a replica of the Sokka-Tap at the Bulguksa Temple in South Korea. The historical Sokka-Tap was a pagoda of the Silla Dynasty which ran from 57 BC – 935 AD.
To the right of the main lawn is the bell tower. In the Buddhist tradition, visitors strike the bell before entering a temple, and it is believed to bring good fortune.
The Great Hero Hall is the main part of the temple, and a main meeting center for services. The statues here represent Shakyamuni Buddha at the forefront, and at his sides, Ananda (intellect) and Mahakasyapa (wisdom).
Statues and sculptures fill the buildings and the gardens, many with historical significance such as the statue of Maitreya to the left of the Great Hero Hall. The statue, which is of the Buddha of the Future who will at some point come bringing a utopian world, is a replica of a statue from the Silla Dynasty which is currently on display at the National Museum of Korea.
There are benches placed throughout the gardens where visitors can sit and enjoy the beauty of the landscape and the temple. Visitors are asked to be quiet while on temple property, and to remove shoes before entering any of the buildings.
Visit Mu Ryang Sa Temple
Hours: 9am – 5pm daily
Entrance fees —
Entrance fee can be placed in any donation box on the temple property.
Groups of 5 or more must make reservations in advance.
Address: 2420 Halelaau Pl, Honolulu, HI 96816
Directions: From Waikiki and Honolulu, take the H1-E. Take Exit 25B onto 6th Ave; keep left to merge onto 6th Ave. Take the 2nd right onto Waialae Ave. Turn left onto 10th Ave, and follow it for 1.5 miles. Turn right onto Waiomao Rd, and then another right onto Halelaau Pl. The temple will be on your left.