At the same time that Bulguksa was being constructed in honor of his parents, King Kim Dae-Seong had Seokguram built in honor of his parents from a former life (Buddhists believe in reincarnation). The grotto is an artificial stone structure made of granite, located on the eastern peak of Mt. Toham. Inside the domed main hall is one of the world's finest shrines to the Buddha, surrounded by bodhisattvas and his guardians. Unfortunately, there is now a recently added wooden entrance to the grotto, covering its original, unassuming stone facade. Still, it can't detract entirely from the place's beauty. Seokguram joined Bulguksa on UNESCO's World Heritage list in 1995.
- © Frommer's 2013
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