Templestay and Martial arts: Golgulsa Temple
Near Gyeongju, There just up past the winding roads that beckon travellers ever farther into the lush green landscape is Golgulsa. The Buddhist temple is understood to have been formed in the 6th century and is home to the seriously magnificent Maya Tathagata Buddha. Carved into the side of a cliff the image lies at the top of a steep path. The experience is quite breathtaking and will stop you in your tracks. After that you will be ducking into caves filled with statues, candles, and incense on the way to the pinnacle. And when you reach the Buddha turn toward the valley to admire the beautiful view. Golgulsa Temple is a overlooked gem for anyone interested in Buddhism or martial arts in Korea.
This amazing place is highly recommended among people for enjoying a templestay. With the combo of Buddhist monks and Sunmudo (Korean martial art), Golgulsa temple is a serene but a truly awesome experience for anyone keen to live like a monk through a short templestay. It could be a very nice introduction to the idea of templestay, some light activity and meditation. Communal vegetarian meals, you might find them basic but they are tasty (just give them a chance). Rising early to chant and do walking meditation everything becomes remarkably relaxing and peaceful. The grounds are lovely, though they are bumpy hills. If a break from the city is what you need, and want to try something new and quiet. Golgulsa temple might pleasantly surprise you. One thing to know though, the sleeping arrangement is a mat on the floor, and showers are set up like a locker room. And if you get to go practice sunmudo at the beach, wear sunscreen.Golgulsa Temple is a worthwhile challenge to see if you are visiting Gyeongju.
After arriving at Gyeongju Bus Terminal or Train Station, take either bus number 100 or 150 for roughly 30~35 minutes to the Andong bus stop. From the bus stop, which is in the middle of nowhere, walk along the road to your left for about 20 minutes until you see two small buildings come into your line of sight and a road leading off to the left will appear. From there, it is another five minutes up to the temple entrance and about 15 minutes of walking up to the main temple area. Consider it a warm up.
The monks of Golgulsa put on a strong and gracious performance of Sunmudo throughout the week, excluding Mondays, at 11 in the afternoon and 3 in the afternoon. Make sure to arrive in due time at the temple to see one of these athletic performances.The entrance fee to Golgulsa Temple is free to all. There is a gift shop just down the hill nearby the performance stage that sells tshirts, bandanas, and monk attire. For more information on learning a thing or two about Sunmudo or experiencing a templestay, visit the Golgulsa Temple website.