On the bus from Gyeongju to Bonggil-ri, the sight of the vast blue sea spread before your eyes will leave you breathless. As you gaze at the glittering blue sea, a small but particularly beautiful islet catches your eye. This little rocky islet is the Underwater Tomb of King Munmu (661-681 A.D.), who unified the three kingdoms and became the 30th ruler of the Silla Kingdom. The king gave specific instructions to be buried in the East Sea after his death so that he would become a dragon and protect Silla from Japanese intruders. The rocky island, about 200m in circumference, is divided by a cross-shaped waterway, forming a pool at the center, at the bottom of which is a granite 3.6 meters long, 2.9 meters wide and 0.9 meters thick. Legend has it that the remains of King Munmu’s cremated body are buried under this rock. Historians still debate whether the ashes of the King Munmu were scattered or stored in an urn and placed under the granite. The beauty of the landscape of the underwater tomb reaches its peak in autumn.
Posted at 01-15-2013 03:47 PM