"Gyeongju" Top 5 Page for this destination Kyongju by i-s-a
Kyongju Travel Guide: 188 reviews and 491 photos
As I am reliving my wonderful memories of Gyeongju, I found an interesting piece of story (from www.ocp.go.kr/english) about the place. Let me share it with you:
In the small village of Moryang-ri on the western outskirts of Gyeongju, there lived a poor woman named Gyeongjo who had an odd-looking son. The villagers made fun of the child as he had a big head and a flat forehead, that looked like a wall. They called him Dae-seong, meaning "big wall."
The boy's mother was too poor to feed him so she gave him to a rich neighbor named Bogan as a farm hand. Dae-seong worked so hard that his master was moved and gave him a small piece of a rice paddy. About this time , a virtuous monk named Jeomgae from Heungnyongsa temple, visited Bogan and asked for a donation for a big ceremony at his temple. As Bogan handed him fifty rolls of hemp cloth, the monk bowed in appreciation and said that the Buddha would repay his generosity by blessing him ten thousand times the worth of his donation.
Dae-seong overheard this and ran home and told his mother, "Now we are poor, and if we do not give something to the temple, we will be poorer in our next lives. Why don't we give our little rice field for the ceremony so that we may have a great reward in our afterlives?" His mother readily consented and donated their rice field to the temple.
Dae-seong died a few months later. On the night of his death, a voice from heaven was heard above the house of Prime Minister Kim Mun-ryang. The voice said that Dae-seong, a good boy from Moryang-ri, would be born to Kim's family. Kim's wife conceived at the time the heavenly voice was heard and gave birth to a boy. The child kept his left hand tightly clenched for seven day after his birth. When he opened his fist at last, they found the two characters for Dae-seong written in gold on his palm. They gave him his old name and invited his mother of his previous life to take care of him.
Dae-seong grew up into a strong man who loved hunting. One day he climbed Mt.Tohamsan and there he killed a big bear. As he was sleeping in a village at the foot of the mountain that night, the bear's ghost appeared in his dream and threatened to kill and eat him unless he built a temple for him. Dae-seong built a temple on the spot where he killed the bear and named it Jangsusa, meaning the Temple of Long Life. From that time he gave up hunting.
Dae-seong was moved by the heavenly grace. He built the beautiful Bulguksa in memory of his parents of the present life and the wonderful cave temple of Seokguram for his parents of the previous life. He invited the two distinguished monks Sillim and Byohun to supervise these temples. He had his fathers and mothers represented among the icons at these temples in gratitude for bringing him up as a useful man.
After the great stone Buddha for Seokguram was finished, Dae-seong was working on a large piece of stone for the ceiling of the main hall when it suddenly broke into three pieces. He wept bitterly over this and fell into sleep. During the night, gods descended from heaven and restored the stone to its original condition. Dae-seong awoke with joy and climbed the southern peak of Mt.Tohamsan, where he burned incense and worshiped the deities. People called the place Hyangnyong, or Incense peak, thereafter.
- In a nutshell:a World Heritage Site ... must-visit!
. . There are so many bike rental stalls around the town of Gyeongju. Biking is a good alternative to walking as the... more travel advice
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