This alms bowl pagoda is located in front of Yonghwajeon Hall at Tongdosa Temple*.
The function of the pagoda is unknown, though it is suggested that it was a structure in which to keep the clothes and rice bowl of Buddha to be handed to Maitreya.
It has an unusual appearance in that a huge rice bowl with a lid is placed on the top of the pedestal, which consists of the bottom, middle, and top layers of stones in the shape of a janggu (a traditional Korean instrument – a double-headed drum with a narrow waist in the middle).
The upper part of the pagoda is a stone structure which has the shape of a bowl with a lid and a high foot.
Judging from the carving of the lotus design and the style of the pillar for the pedestal, it is assumed that the pagoda was built during the Goryeo Dynasty, however, as it seems a bit different in style between the pedestal and the bowl-shaped stone structure, it raises the question that those two parts might have been built in different times.
*Tongdosa Temple, situated on Yeongchuksan Mountain is known as one of the three Precious Buddhist Temples in Korea.
It was erected by a monk, Jajang, in 646, the 15th year of the reign of Queen Seondeok of the Silla Dynasty.
This temple was important from its beginning because it was founded by enshrining Buddha sarira brought by Jajang from the Tang Dynasty of China, as well as a monk's robe, and for the first time in Korea, a complete collection of the sacred writings of Buddhism.