Seokguram Grotto is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most popular and culturally significant places in South Korea. The sacred grotto is a part of the Bulguksa Temple Complex, where seven of South Korea’s National Treasures reside. Besides being a significant shrine to the Buddhist faith, it also happens to be one of the most beautiful and scenic places in the country. It is no coincidence that the Bulguksa Temple Complex is designated has Scenic and Historic Site # 1 in South Korea. Bulguksa is one of the head temples of what is known as the Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism, while Seokguram Grotto was historically a monastery, and is also a temple complex.
This historic grotto in South Korea is specifically located on Mount Tohamsan in Gyeongju. Gyeongju is a city on the southeastern coast of the North Gyeongsang Province. The grotto overlooks the Sea of Japan, also referred to as the East Sea. The breathtaking vistas from the grotto draw people from all over the world who want to see the renowned sunsets. Seokguram Grotto reaches about a half mile above sea level and the views of the ocean and the mountains from this tranquil and spiritual place justify a visit to the site in and of themselves.
Seokguram was built by a man named Gim Daeseong. Construction started in the year 742 in the height of the Silla Dynasty on the Korean Peninsula. The grotto was ultimately completed in 774. Historical accounts of the period tell us that Gim built the Bulguksa Temple Complex for his parents in his present life, while the Seokguram Grotto was built for his ancestors, or specifically, parents in another life. The grotto itself is an artificial granite structure that houses a stunning Buddha statues that sits in the main chamber of the temple complex on a sculptured lotus flower pedestal. The Buddha is surround by arhats and bodhisattvas and the walls are adorned with reliefs, the chamber decorated with elaborate statues.
This grotto in South Korea is one of the most popular attractions both for domestic and international tourists for very good reason. The Bulguksa Temple Complex is just about two and a half miles from Seokguram, making it possible for people to see a wide range of some of South Korea’s most impressive and significant National Treasures in one day. Many other people choose to spend more than one day at the temple complex. If you so choose you can spend days there and rejuvenate in the mountain tranquility of this sacred land. You can even receive meditation instruction and meditate with the monks at the temple.
If you are planning a trip to South Korea, you will inevitably be choosing from a wide variety of places to go and attractions to see. This particular country is notable for its amazing nightlife, culture, entertainment, and shopping. It is also a country where you can see traditional life still in full effect, complete with sacred temples, and other spiritual places. If you have the ability to travel around and can make it to Gyeongju, you should make a point of visiting the most famous grotto in South Korea.