Mount Tohamsan, Gyeongju, South Korea
Photograph by de:Richardfabi, 2005, Wikipedia commons
Built during the 8th century, close to the temple complex of Pulguksa, the granite cave shrine of Sokkuram was completed in 774 under instruction from Gim Daeseong, a chief minister of the Silla royal court. An arched entrance leads into an antechamber and corridor, decorated with relief carvings of kings and guardian deities. The sanctuary contains a monumental stone statue of the Buddha, 3.5 metres high, seated on a lotus pedestal in earth-touching meditation posture (bhumisparsamudra). The statue is surrounded by carved panels and niches showing images of bodhisattvas, gods and disciples. The ceiling of the cave is decorated with a lotus flower and half moons.