Established in the 8th century under the Silla Dynasty, on the slopes of Mount Tohamsan, Seokguram Grotto and Bulguksa Temple form a religious architectural complex of exceptional signiﬁcance.
Prime Minister Dae-seong KIM initiated and supervised the construction of the temple and the grotto, the former built in memory of his parents in his present life and the latter in memory of his parents from a previous life.
Seokguram is an artiﬁcial grotto constructed of granite that comprises an antechamber, a corridor and a main rotunda. It enshrines a monumental statue of the Sakyamuni Buddha looking out to sea with his left hand in dhyana mudra, the mudra of concentration, and his right hand in bhumisparsa mudra, the earth-touching mudra position. Together with the portrayals of devas, bodhisattvas and disciples, sculpted in high and low relief on the surrounding walls, the statues are considered to be a masterpiece of East Asian Buddhist art.
The domed ceiling of the rotunda and the entrance corridor employed an innovative construction technique that involved the use of more than 360 stone slabs.