Golgulsa Temple, Gyeongju

4.1
Golgulsa is located 20 km east of the ancient Silla Dynasty capital city of Gyeongju in Southeastern Korea. In the Golgulsa temple area can be found the oldest historical Buddhist ruins on Mt. Hamwol and the only cave temple in Korea.
Golgulsa Temple was established on Mt. Hamwolsan, along with Girimsa, by Master Gwangyu and his retinue who came to Korea from India about 1,500 years ago. Golgulsa Temple is the oldest grotto temple in Korea, emulating those in India.
According to a painting of Jeong Seon during the mid-Joseon era, Golgulsa Temple was established by constructing a wooden antechapel in front of several stone grottoes and covering it with tiles. The temple was left in ruins after it was burnt down in the mid to late Joseon era. Then about 70 years ago, the Bak clan of Gyeongju moved there and began reconstruction. The temple was sold to an individual in 1989, but Ven. Seol Jeogun, then head of Girimsa, eventually purchased it. Currently Golgulsa is registered as a branch temple of Bulguksa, the head temple of the 11th religious district, Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism.
The seated rock-carved Buddha, the main Buddha of Golgulsa Temple, faces the underwater tomb of King Munmu, and around the Buddha are many grotto Dharma halls, such as Avalokitesvara Grotto, Ksitigarbha Grotto, Medicine Buddha Grotto, Arhat Grotto and Guardian Deities Hall. There are also relics of traditional folk religions such as rocks carved into phalluses and vaginas.
Recently ex-Master Monk of Kirimsa, Seol Jeog-un constructed a road while simultaneously renovating the Golgulsa Temple.
Work out when and for how long to visit Golgulsa Temple and other Gyeongju attractions using our handy Gyeongju online sightseeing planner .
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Golgulsa Temple Reviews
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4.4
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  • I was lucky enough to get a place in this temple and stayed 3 days/2 nights. It's a wonderful place. The monks, the staff and everyone else are super
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  • Demonstration of Martial art called ‘Sunmudo’ played every afternoon at 15:00 except for Mondays. We sat down on the rock behind the temple and saw the show from above. Interesting to see as I’ve neve...  more »
Google
  • Don't waste your time there
  • The temple stay is well done here. An awesome place to learn about Korean culture and Buddhism.
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