Kept in a protective shelter near Dogapsa Temple, this stele (height: 517cm) is composed of a tortoise-shaped platform, the body, and the head.
It contains records of the activities carried out by State Preceptor Doseon of the Unified Silla Period (676 - 935) and Royal Preceptor Sumi of the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910).
The tortoise has a magic bead in its mouth, a large nose, and a pair of big, intimidating eyes.
Slanted parallel lines are inscribed neatly on its back.
Each of the front legs has five toes, and each of the back legs, three toes.
The body is made of marble.
The epitaph says that this one replaced the worn-out stele for Monk Doseon, and that the construction work was started in 1636 (the 14th year of King Injo’s reign) and completed in 1653 (the 4th year of King Hyojong’s reign).
The inscription on both sides of the stele, featuring twin dragons flying up to the sky, is made very realistically.
Made of a piece of stone, the head shows 28 upturned lotus flowers inscribed at the lower end, with two dragons appearing to bite the edges of the stele head at the upper end.
This stele is distinguished from the others of its kind found in the country in terms of height.
Experts say that it boasts of the highest level of workmanship of that time.
The body is made of marble, and the cloud-dragon patterns inscribed on both sides show off high-spiritedness and exuberance.
The time taken for its construction (18 years) provides researchers with useful information.
The fact that the object is for two prestigious monks is also noteworthy.
The three separate parts of epitaph and the work of composing, handwriting, and inscribing done by three different people are presumed to be associated with the fact that it took 21 years (including 3 years taken for fund raising) to complete the work.
The second part of the epitaph contains a statement about the first part as well as information on the process of collecting and moving the stone.
The third part includes a statement about the entrustment of the content inscribed on the back of the stele.
In other words, this stele is a precious material that tells us how long it took to build a huge monument like this.
It also provides important information for those studying the history of sculpture and calligraphy of the late Joseon Period (1392-1910).