Friday, August 16, 2013

Buddha Treasures at Gyeongju, Mt Namsan (Korea) - Part 2

You cannot say you have been to Gyeongju, the ancient capital city of the Silla Kingdom, until you have visited Mt Namsan, a fascinating mountain with numerous Buddha relics from the Silla Kingdom.
Located in the south of the city, Mt. Namsan contains 13 royal tombs, 150 temple sites, 130 stone Buddha Statues and carvings, 100 stone pagodas, 22 stone lanterns, and 4 mountain fortresses from the Silla Kingdom (57BCE – 935CE).
It is not known exactly how many more relics are hidden or lost on this mountain.
Seated Stone Buddha Statue at Mireuggok of Namsan, Gyeongju
(Treasure No. 136)

This is located at the east slope of Mt. Namsan. This site is supposed to be the place where Bori temple had stood during the Silla period. The stone sculpture is 4.36m high, and the seated Buddha image itself is as high as 2.44m. Among the existing Buddhist images on Mt. Namsan, this image is best preserved. 

The Buddha sitting on the octagonal lotus pedestal is the image of Sakyamuni, who smiles at the world with the half-closed eyes and a merciful facial expression. Small Buddhist images and floral medallion designs are carved on the halo. On the back of the pear-shaped halo, the Bhaisajyaguru Buddha up-holding a medicine bowl in his left hand is carved in relief.