A Trip to Bulguksa Temple Gyeongju
QUICK FACTS ABOUT BULGUKSA TEMPLE GYEONGJU
- Bulguksa temple was built in 528 during the Silla Dynasty, in 751 King Gyeong-Deok started rebuilding the temple.
- The temple burned down during the Imijin war and was damaged multiple time during robber attacks.
- The temple is considered as a master piece of Buddhist art dating back from the Silla Dynasty. Currently the temple is part of the Yogye order; the biggest Buddhist order in Korea. Golgulsa Temple, also located in Gyeongju is also part of the Yogye order.
Find more information on Imagine’s Korea official website.
ABOUT BULGUKSA TEMPLE
Bulguksa Temple Gyeongju is a Buddhist temple located in the outskirts of Gyeongju, Gyeongsangbuk-do. The temple is part of the UNESCO World Heritage sites Korea since 1995 . The temple is very popular for Korean travelers and visitors from all over the world as Gyeongju is often referred to as the “museum without walls”.
The main entrance to the temple exists of a 33 step high double staircase, which represents the 33 steps to enlightenment. The stair case works as a bridge, which is National Treasure nr. 23.
When entering the main court you can see two pagodas, in the early days of Buddhism pagodas represented Buddha, as no images or statues of Buddha were available.
The entrance fee for an adult is 5000 won, for youth 3500 won and for children 2500 won. If you are a Gyeongju citizen make sure to bring your ID or ARC card as you can enter for free.
BEST TIME TO VISIT BULGUKSA TEMPLE
You will need minimum one hour to explore the temple as there are many different buildings and halls. The best time to visit the temple is during spring and autumn as the flowers start to bloom or the leaves start to turn golden. It’s definitely worth visiting the temple as it’s rich in history, extremely beautiful and has more that seven National Treasures.
The temple also runs temple stays on a yearly basis. I’ve tried a temple stay at another temple in Gyeongju, Golgulsa Temple and it’s a great way to learn more about the temple culture and activities.
- There are FREE tour guides working in the temple. Go to the information booth and ask for an English speaking guide.
- Also visiting Seokguram Grotto? There is a hiking trail from Bulguksa temple entrance leading to Seokguram entrance. The walk uphill will take around 1 hour.