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Treasure 201

Rock-carved Buddhas in Tapgok Valley of Namsan Mountain, Gyeongju
Heritage Search Detail
Classification Treasure 201
Name of Cultural Properties Rock-carved Buddhas in Tapgok Valley of Namsan Mountain, Gyeongju
Quantity 1Buddha statue
Designated Date 1963.01.21
Age Unified Silla Period
Address San 79/ San 72, Baeban-dong, Gyeongju, Gyeongsangbuk-do
A number of Buddhas, located at the former site of Sininsa Temple, which was founded during the Unified Silla Dynasty, are carved on a large square rock standing 9m tall.

Judging from the fact that pieces of a stone pagoda have been found scattered around the site, and traces of a wooden building remain around a large rock to the south of the site, the Buddha statue in the south is thought to have been the principal statue of a south-facing temple that once stood here.

The Buddha triad and a separate Bodhisattva statue are carved on the southern face of the rock, while images of a Buddha, Bodhisattvas, monks, and flying fairy are carved on the eastern face of the rock.

The Buddha and Bodhisattvas are all depicted sitting on pedestals engraved with lotus flowers, and have a mandorla (Buddhist halos of light), which gives shape to the light radiating from his entire body.

However, their postures and expressions are all different; the fairy is flying while the monks are making an offering to the Buddha and Bodhisattva.

All are severely defaced, leaving the precise nature of the carving techniques unclear.

There are two representations of the banyan tree under which Buddha was sitting when he realized the eternal truths, and there is a Buddha statue on the western face of the rock.

The elaborate carvings of Buddha statues, flying fairies, Bodhisattvas, monks, pagoda, etc.

on one face of the rock suggest that the carver was trying to create a full representation of the Buddhist world.

The method of carving is formal, but its picturesque quality is unique in Korea.