Yeongamsa Temple Site
사적 제131호.1964년 지정. 면적 3,812m2. 경남 서부의 가야산과 지리산을 연결하는 중간 지점의 황매산(黃梅山) 남쪽 기슭에 있으며, 영암사라는 절 이름도 주민들 사이에서 구전되어 오지만 자세한 연혁은 전하지 않는다. 다만 서울대학교 도서관에 탁본으로 남아 전하는 <적연국사자광탑비(寂然國師慈光塔碑)>(1023년 건립)의 비문을 통하여 고려시대 이곳에 영암사가 있었음을 알 수 있다.
Korea is one of the oldest continuous civilizations in the world with over five thousand years of history. According to the original creation myth, the world we live in today is the work of the Heavenly Prince Hwanung, whose father was the King of Heaven.The Heavenly Prince asked his father to give him some land to govern, so the Father sent him down to Mount Taebaek. With him the Prince brought the Minister of Clouds, the Earl of Rain and the Chancellor of Wind. They also brought three thousand helpers.Under the shade of a sandalwood tree the Prince founded a holy city called Sinsi, the City of God. He put his Ministers in charge of three hundred and sixty areas of human culture, teaching them to grow crops and to make laws concerning what is good and what is evil.A tiger and a bear living in a nearby cave saw this city and desperately wanted to become human. Every day they came to the sandalwood tree at the center of the city to pray fervently for becoming humans.Hwanung saw their devotion and gave them instructions to remain in the cave and fast for one month, eating nothing but garlic and mugwort. The tiger was too impatient to stand the long and boring days in the cave, so he gave up and left, but Bear maintained the fast. At the end of the month she was transformed into a beautiful woman who became the mother of the Korean people.Her first son was Don-gun, the First King of the Korean people. When Don-Gun passed on the throne to his own son, he became a Mountain God. It is interesting that mountain gods are still worshipped today in Korea.Text by Steve Smith.