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UNESCO World Heritage Site #20: Seokguram Grotto and Bulguksa Temple

World Heritage Site #19: Seokguram Grotto and Bulguksa Temple

World Heritage Site #20: Seokguram Grotto and Bulguksa Temple

From the World Heritage inscription:

Established in the 8th century on the slopes of Mount T’oham, the Seokguram Grotto contains a monumental statue of the Buddha looking at the sea in the bhumisparsha mudra position. With the surrounding portrayals of gods, Bodhisattvas and disciples, all realistically and delicately sculpted in high and low relief, it is considered a masterpiece of Buddhist art in the Far East. The Temple of Bulguksa (built in 774) and the Seokguram Grotto form a religious architectural complex of exceptional significance.

Located a short distance out of Geyongju, the Seokguram Grotto and Bluguksa Temple are two completely different sites put under the same World Heritage banner. The Seokguram Grotto was a real disappointment. It is much more difficult to get to, sitting on the top of a mountain, up a winding road. You have to walk about 10-15 min to get there, and when you do get there, it is a tiny alcove where you can’t take photos, and the Buddha is walled off in glass.

The Bluguska Temple, however, is the most impressive thing in the Gyeongju area. It was the best preserved temple I visited in South Korea, and is a rather large complex. The above photo is the front of the Bluguska Temple. Both the temple and the shrine can be visited from Gyeongju on a half day trip via taxi or organized tour.

  • 7 Comments... What's your take?

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  1. Chris says:

    Don’t worry about taxi or tour bus. If you are with a group of 6 or more, you can hire a van that comes with a driver for about 12$ a person for the day. He will take you wherever you want to go. You can also take the local buses and use those two things below you…ya feet!

    I recommend skipping Yangdong Village. It is crap.

  2. Robby says:

    Most visitors to the Geyeongju area miss the most enchanting and exciting things to see. The nearby mountain of Nam-san (not the one of the same name in Seoul!) is dotted with small temples and shrines, and gardens and outdoor statuary, some in better shape than others. It requires a bit of a hike, but you will be rewarded. Don’t miss it!

  3. jess says:

    great shott!
    im so exciting to visit there this summer!

  4. DrManette says:

    Buddhist temples are by far one of the biggest attractions to Asia, in my opinion. A lot of their art work and the likes are amazing.

  5. Abas says:

    looks good, worth a visit some day.

  6. Beautiful shot. It seems that there is a significant difference between the details of the roofs in comparison to the Japanese Temples. South Korea has quite a bit to see for a small country.

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