Wednesday, September 1, 1999

Korea - Gyeongju

Gyeongju used to be the Capital of Shilla dynasty where the Buddhism flourished. Despite the long lost dynasty, the temples and beauty of the Shilla remains here.
The view from the top of the mountain temple where one of the largest stone sculpture of Buddha remains is spectaculous!

Seokguram Grotto

More info on Seokguram Grotto (Mt. Tohamsan) UNESCO World Heritage site

Entrance to any Buddhist temple, there are four statue of the keepers of underworld. They warn us, before we enter, not to live a life of bad deeds.

Temple Entrance
Inside the worshiping area of temple. There are many golden statues and beautiful designs inside. 
Inside a rich temple
The worshiping areas are located inside the naturally formed caves in the mountain.
The Buddha is carved on the naturally formed stone mountain. It is steep area, but the climb is worthwhile...

Golgulsa (Stone Buddha Temple)
More on Golgulsa (Stone Buddha Temple)

Bulguksa is considered one of the most beautiful Buddhist temple and its two beautiful Pagodas are the prizes of the temple. There is a sad story behind them.

Bulguksa Temple

The story artist was called to build the second pagoda after the first one. He went, promising her that when the pagoda is finished, she will see him where the shadow of pagoda touches. When the construction was over, she went to meet him at the shadow, but he was no where in sight.
Fearing his death, she killed herself by jumping into the pond. He came later, after being detained by the commissioner. Knowing his wife's fate, he also killed himself.  

Two beautiful pagodas in Bulguksa

Two beautiful pagodas in Bulguksa

More on Bulguksa temple UNESCO world heritage site

The Kings and Queens of Shilla dynasty was buries inside a huge mound of earth, almost like the pharaohs of Egypt. Many beautiful artifacts were found when these tombs were 
Tombs of kings and queens of Shilla dynasty

More on Daereung-won Tumuli Park (Cheonmachong Tomb)

Books about Korea:
Culture Shock! Korea: A Survival Guide to Customs and Etiquette (Culture Shock! Guides) Insight Guide Korea (Insight Guides)