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Shinhungsa was built in the six year of Queen Jindeok of Shilla's reign (652 A.D) by Buddhist monk Chajang-yulsa. Today, a three-tiered stone pagoda and sacred Buddhist text plates are still preserved in the precincts of the temple. A four-meter high statue of the Buddha, the guardian deity of Mount Sorak, stands watch in front of the temple. At present, Shinhungsa, the head temple of the 25th parish of the Chogye Buddhist Order, dedicated the sitting Buddha after 11 years of construction . The 14.6-meter gilt-bronze Buddha statue sits on a 4.3-meter high pedestal made of the same metallic substance. The statue weighs 108 tons. The giant structure is called "Tongil Daebul," the Great Unification Buddha Statue, represents one more important wish of Korean people beyond regional and religious differences - the reunification of the country divided for over half a century.

Giant statue