Buddhism is one of three religions that prevail in South Korea, the others being Christianity and Confucianism. Gyeongju City and its surroundings are heir to traces of the glory that flowered then withered in the ancient Shilla Kingdom from 57 BC to 935 AD. The downtown area and the suburbs contain many royal burial mounds and Buddhist remains, which preserve the zenith of Shilla art and culture. The historic areas of Gyeongju where Mt. Namsan and many cultural properties are located contain a remarkable concentration of outstanding examples of Korean Buddhist art, in the form of sculptures, reliefs, pagodas and the remains of temples and palaces from the 7th and 10th centuries.
We visited the Bulguksa Temple and Seokgulam Grotto, which are the most well known of Gyeongju's treasures. They were built in 751 AD by Kim Dae-Seong in memory of his parents. Bulguksa Temple and Seokgulam Grotto were completed over a span of thirty years. Bulguksa was restored to its original condition in 1973. Seokgulam Grotto has received several renovations over the years as well. Both were designated as World Cultural Heritage sites by UNESCO on December 6, 1995.
The first few pictures depict the awesome autumn colours that greeted us on the walk up to the Bulguksa Temple, which we visited first.