|Golgulsa Temple (Stone Buddha Temple) (골굴암)|
|Located at the foot of Mt. Hamwol, Gulgulsa is the only temple cave in Korea. The temple was built out of solid rock during the 6th century by Saint Gwang Yoo and some accompanying monks, and was designed according to the architectural structure of India.
On the top of the temple stands a sculpture of the Maya Tathagata Buddha and surrounding the sculpture are twelve rock caves used as a prayer sanctuary. Seven of the twelve rock cave sanctuaries are still standing today. Golgulsa’s main attractions are the sculpture of the Maya Tathagata Buddha and the Gwaneum Cave.
The Buddha sculpture displays the characteristics of the Shilla Buddha, and is 4 meters high. The Buddha has his hair in a topknot, has a calm smile, narrow eyes, small lips, and a long narrow nose. To protect the sculpture of any damage from the wind or rain, a glass ceiling has been installed in the Gwaneum Cave, which is the largest sanctuary of the seven still existing caves.
The main Buddha of this cave is the Buddhist Goddess of Mercy, and the cave walls are dedicated to the 108 meditations of the Buddhist Goddess of Mercy. The Gwaneum Cave has a wall with tiles in front of it, which makes it look like an ordinary sanctuary. But once inside, the entire interior from ceiling to walls is carved all from stone. Golgulsa is unlike any other temple. The road to the temple offers an exciting thrill similar to that of rock climbing. Safety ropes and railings surround Golgulsa. A risky climb up a long set of stairs finally leads up to the caves, including Gwaneum Cave, Jijang Cave, and Yaksa Cave.
The Maya Tathagata Buddha can only be seen after climbing the rock walls and holding on tightly to the safety ropes, but only past the cave-like rock that juts out.
|8:00am - 6:00pm|
|Interpretation Services Offered|
|Available Language: English|
|From Gyeongju Station or Gyeongju Bus Terminal, take the city but #100 or #150 to Andong three-way junction. The bus ride is about 1 hour. From there, walk about 15 minutes to Golgulsa. From Gyeongju Station or Gyeongju Bus Terminal, it’ll take about 50 minutes by taxi.|