Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Amazing Buddhist Korea

Wisdom Quarterly, Lonely Planet, P.R. Crossman, Frommers
The intricate stone carvings of Seokbulsa hermitage (Anosteen/Flickr)

BUSAN, South Korea - Seokbulsa ("Stone Buddha") Temple is an amazing, out of the way treasure. Lonely Planet, the backpacker's Bible, describes it in brief:

Hard to find but a wonder to behold, Seokbulsa Temple is a [Buddhist] hermitage carved into rock. Massive boulders stretching 40m in height jut out from the mountainside to form a U-shaped enclave with three rock facings that is now a place of worship.

Inside the enclave enormous Buddhist images have been meticulously etched into stone. Visually powerful in scale and impact, it's the kind of work that moves first-time visitors to exclaim "Wow" as they step back and arch their necks to get the full picture.

, Angelica, and Maria quietly explore the wonders of Seokbulsa, Korea

Quietly walk past the women bowing on the shoes-off platform and step into the small caves for a close-up look at the Buddha glowing in soft candlelight.

Getting to Seokbulsa is a worthwhile challenge for anyone with a desire to explore out-of-the-way places.

The most interesting -- and strenuous -- route is to add this stop to your Geumjeongsan Mountain hike. From the South Gate (남문), the path indicated by the Mandeokchon (만덕촌) sign leads to a collection of restaurants and foot-volleyball courts in Namman Village (남만 마을). More

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