Korean tour group to explore roots of region's Buddhism

Korean tour group to explore roots of region's Buddhism
PHOTO: Gwangju International Centre's Facebook page

Gwangju International Center will be running its GIC Culture Tour to Yeonggwang, South Jeolla Province, for an overnight temple stay this month.

The first stop on the tour will be Beopsong-po, the arrival point of the Indian monk Marananta who travelled through China before bringing Buddhism to the Baekje Kingdom in A.D. 384. There is a shrine with a statue of the monk, a small museum and several examples of Indian architecture here to commemorate this.

Lunch will feature the local specialty, gulbi, or dried yellow corvina. The delicacy is produced locally, as Yeonggwang provides the perfect humidity and sunshine for the drying process. After that, the tour moves on to Bulgapsa Temple.

The temple was founded by Marananta and is connected to the origins of Buddhism in the region. The main hall, which has been designated a national treasure, is among the aspects of the temple that reflect this history.

The tour will join the overnight programme, which allows participants to experience the daily lives of resident monks.

The tour runs on Nov. 21-22, with registration closing Nov. 15. The cost of participation, including travel, the temple stay, food and other expenses, is 110,000 won (S$135) for GIC members, 130,000 won for nonmembers and 65,000 won for preschoolers.

See gic.or.kr to sign up or for more information.

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