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Stone Buddhas in Four Directions at Gulbulsa Temple Site, Gyeongju
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Classification Treasure
Name of Cultural Properties Stone Buddhas in Four Directions at Gulbulsa Temple Site, Gyeongju
Quantity 1Buddha statue
Designated Date 1963.01.21
Age Unified Silla Period
Address San 4, Dongcheon-dong, Gyeongju, Gyeongsangbuk-do

These stone Buddha statues, which are situated in the Gulbulsa Temple site in Gyeongju, Gyeongsangbuk-do, have been carved on all four sides of the rock: Amitabha Buddha on the west, Bhaisajyaguru Buddha on the east, Mitreya on the north, and Sakyamuni on the south. According to Samguk Yusa (Memorabilia of the Three Kingdoms), when King Gyeongdeok (r. 742~765) of Silla went to Baengnyulsa Temple, he heard a Buddhist invocation coming from the ground below. When he dug the ground, he found a rock, carved Buddhas on its four sides, and built a temple called Gulbulsa Temple. Although not certain based only on these records, it is believed to have been built around this time given the circumstances. The standing Amitabha statue on the western side has a body made from a stone pillar with a separate head. The topknot on its plain head is bigger than the head, so the statue appears to be wearing a hat. The body curves and looks solid, and the hands and feet are carved in a realistic way. The standing Bodhisattva statues, standing right and left to the Amitabha statue, are made of different types of stone and are in the shape of a Triad. The Bhaisajyaguru Buddha on the eastern side is sitting with his legs crossed, and his body is tilted forward. The facial features are very refined, and the body has a tense, energetic aura. There is an embossed statue of a standing Buddha on the right side of the northern part of the rock, with an Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva with six hands carved on its left side. The right statue of a standing Bodhisattva has a round, pretty face, and it is positioned in a curved, elegant manner. On the southern side, there was originally a triad, but it suffered terrible damage during the Japanese invasion. The statue on the right side and the middle statue's head were taken by the Japanese. The curves on the body and the thin folds of clothes portray a futuristic-looking Buddha. The changes in the three-dimensional expression and the carvings on the seated and standing statues are very unique. The full and subtle liveliness of the statues expresses the style of the early Silla Dynasty.