Saturday, May 14, 2011

Buddha's Birthday at Bulguksa Temple and Seokguram Grotto in Gyeongju

This is the view from the train window as we headed toward Gyeongju on Buddha's Birthday. It was another rainy weekend in the mountains. Even though a nice sunny day is better for pictures, I really like the feeling of being in the mountains when everything is damp and wet.   

Despite almost missing the train in Gumi, we arrived with ease to Bulguksa Temple. It was another 40 min bus ride from the train station in Gyeongju to the temple. We picked a good day to go because we didn't have to pay an admission fee because of the holiday!

The quality of this picture doesn't really do this scene justice, but I really liked how the colorful umbrellas juxtaposed with the lanterns. It made the gray day seem a little brighter. This is the path that leads up to the temple.  We were smarter on this trip because we brought extra dry cloths and put our paper things into plastic bags so everything didn't get wet like it did at the tea bowl festival.  

Bulguksa Temple was constructed in 751 during the Shilla Period. Gyeongju was the capital during the Shilla Dynasty and the temple was the center of Shilla Buddhism. This is the entrance to the temple complex. Around the complex lanterns were strung with people's prayers and wishes for their family and friends.

Here is Erik reading a sign.

Here is the interior courtyard. On the left is the base of Dabotap Pagoda. The pagoda is unique because of the four pillars that support the first section, instead of a solid base like you see in the pagoda in the picture below.

This is the Three Storied Stone Pagoda of Bulguksa, and is considered a more typical style during the Shilla period.

Back to the Dabotap Pagoda. Can you see how different they look? Ok I will stop being an art history nerd now.... Haha

There was a mass going inside this building (Daeungjeon) so we didn't really get to have a good look inside.

And here is Erik looking out at something...I don't know what. I just think it is funny to take pictures of him when he is not paying attention.

Lining the walls of the walkways was art work done by kids who visited the temple. in this one.

This is an image of the Golden Buddha in one of the temples. We couldn't take a picture of it, but I think this artist has created a nice representation! I put a Google image of the real one at the end of this post. 

Here are some lanterns waiting to be added to the hundreds of others around the complex.

A view as I was coming down some very steep steps.

Remember one of the first posts when we went to the lake by Geumo Mt and there were those big rock piles? Well here are more rock piles behind the temple. You can say a prayer than then add a rock to a pile.

I really love these so I wanted my picture in front of them. It looks like it isn't raining, but it is. I'm not hiding from the sun!

Just as we were starting to get hungry for lunch, we ended following a crowd to the lunch site. They were serving bibimbap, soup, and a rice cake. We were able to sit on the front "porch??" of the monks living quarters while we ate. 

Here is me....I have no comment for this picture lol sorry

And I have no comment for this one either.... (nonplussed as always)

This is the pond at the entrance of the temple complex. We actually came in the exit and left thorough the entrance!

After touring Bulguksa, we decided to climb the mountain to go to Seokguram Grotto. We didn't really know how far we had to go, but we decided to go anyway. Even though I was almost dead by time time we reached the top, it was well worth it so see the huge stone seated Buddha.

The top of the mountain was really foggy, and we could hardly see anything. below you can see all the colored lanterns.

The entrance to one of the temple buildings. It was really crowded and there were people worshiping so we didn't really go in. Plus we weren't suppose to take pictures. I found some pictures on Google though so you can see the seated Buddhas.

On the way back down the mountain we took a detour to the spring. This is a really creepy picture of me drinking from the spring. I look like a ghost! A tourist ghost hehe. The water was almost as good as the water in Argonne.

This is a painting of a god on the wooden door that goes to the monks living quarters. I don't know who he is, but if someone does they should let me know!

I didn't take this picture , but I found it on Google so you could see what was inside the temples.

This  is not my picture either, but you can  see how the temple is built into the hill. When you enter into the temple it looks really big actually because the hill is hollowed out into a dome. This is where the huge stone Buddha lives.

My favorite thing on the trip was seeing this Buddha. When you walk around it your head almost reaches the base of the platform he is sitting on. Thanks to Google you can see a picture, but we weren't allowed cameras.

1 comment:

  1. Mom: "Is Erik growing a beard!?!" "I wish I was Buddhist!"

    hahaha! Kara, you look like Gollum drinking from the Forbidden Pool! Also, all those lanterns are amazing!!! Any chance you can bring one back?!?!