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Gyeongsan Palgongsan Mt. Gatbawi

What is Gatbawi?

Gatawi is a statue of the Buddha created in the Silla Era, which was built using the rocks enclosing the rugged 850-meter-high Palgonsan Peak as a background, like a folding screen.

It is said that Uihyun, a great Buddhist monk, created this statue for consoling his dead mother, and as it is believed to grant at least one wish if you pray to it with utmost sincerity, it continues to attract millions of worshippers.


  • Hair (cassia bark), which looks like a topknot, is clearly visible on his head. His face is round, corpulent, and elastic, but his eyes slant upwards, creating a solemn expression, without a benevolent smile. His ears are long enough to touch his shoulders, and his thick and short neck has three wrinkles, representing his Three Teachings. His slightly upward shoulders are wide, upright, and healthy, but his chest is plain and his body shape makes him look heavy and clumsy. His coarse but delicate hands, which are on his knees, look like Hangmachokjiin, with the end of his right hand pointing to the ground, making the statue look like an object of worship in Seokguram. The fact that in his left hand is a tiny medicine pot shows, however, that it represents a medicine Buddha.
  • The pedestal on which the statue sits is a quadrangle, and the clothes drape its front and back. The rocks enclosing the statue like a folding screen play the role of a halo, but the statue separately stands far away from the rocks. The Buddha’s corpulent but uncomfortable face, his formatted clothes’ lines, and his inelastic body show the characteristics of the 9th-century statue of the Buddha, which are different from those of the 8th-century Buddha.

Gatbawi Story