Tuesday, August 2, 2016

2016 July: South Korea: Gyeongju: Bulguksa Temple

Bulguksa Temple [UNESCO World Heritage] (불국사)
Location: 385, Bulguk-ro, Gyeongju-si, Gyeongsangbuk-do
경상북도 경주시 불국로 385 (진현동)
Fee (Adult): 5,000 won 

Accessible by Bus No. 10 or 11 from Gyeongju Intercity / Express Bus Terminal, the trip lasted for almost an hour and with the help of maps.google, I was able to reach the site.   

These colorful lanterns were bought by the locals to send in their prayers and wishes.

Known as one of Korea's most cherished remnants of the Silla Dynasty (57-935 BC), the temple embodies the mysticism and beauty of Buddhism, which served as the spiritual and cultural backbone of the Silla Dynasty. Together with Seokguram Grotto, Bulguksa Temple was officially designated a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage in 1995.

Unlike most temples in Korea, Bulguksa sits upon a high stone platform. The platform, with a height of one hundred meters, is linked to the ground by a stone staircase that is said to connect the temporal world (ground level) and the spiritual world of Buddhism (the raised area of the temple). 

In addition to the architecture itself, the temple has gained acclamation for its national treasures, namely the Dabotap and Seokgatap pagodas located in front of Daeungjeon Hall. Both pagodas are made out of stone and exemplify the outstanding craftsmanship of the Silla period. [visitkorea.or.kr]

As what it claims as "upon a high stone platform", prepare yourself for multiple hikes on steep stairs to reach the main temple and on leaving the area.

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