Tomb of King Guhyeong, Sancheong (산청 전 구형왕릉)

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This stone grave is known to be the tomb of King Guhyeong, the 10th King of the Gaya Kingdom. He is also known as King Guhae or King Yang, and is the grandfather of Kim Yoo Shin. Since becoming the King of Gaya in 521 AD, he reigned for 11 years until he handed over his country to King Beopheung of the Silla Kingdom in 532 AD.

There are two different scholarly opinions about this tomb. One is that it should be classified as a stone pagoda and the other, a royal tomb. The reason why this was regarded as a pagoda is that there are similarly shaped stone pagodas in the Andong and Uiseong regions. The basis for it being called Wangreung, or royal tomb, is that there is a record in Dongguk Yeoji Seongram (an ancient history book published during the rule of King Seongjong in the Joseon dynasty) and in Saneum-hyeon Sancheonjo (a record of events in the region) of it being a tomb. The notes state that "there is a structure with steps on the four faces, in the form of nine dragons piled up of stones at a distance of about 16 km (40 ri in traditional Korean scale) from the village, so people believe it must be a royal tomb".

The record describing the name of the king buried in this tomb can be extracted from a record of travels called Wangsan Shimreunggi written by Hong Ui Young, a Joseon dynasty scholar. In addition, there’s also an entry  in Wangsansagi, a book on the history of Wangsansa Temple (a temple located west of the tomb) that the person buried in the tomb is King Guhyeong.

Unlike ordinary graves, the tomb is built at the middle part of the hill's slope. The tomb has a unique appearance made up of steps and layers, with the highest point being 7.15 meters high. There are seven layers at the front and no steps at the back due to it being built on an inclined surface. The overall shape of this tomb is different from the pyramids built on level ground. The top of the tomb is oval in shape. At the center, there is a stone tablet with the words "Royal Tomb of King Yang of the Garak Nation". In front of the tomb, there are several stone pieces that have been added to the original tomb.

During the 17th Year of King Jeongjo of the Joseon dynasty (1793), a wooden box that was passed down from generation to generation in Wangsansa Temple was discovered. The box contained portraits of King Guhyeong and his queen, their clothes, an archery bow, and other objects. To preserve these, a royal building called Deogyangjeon Hall was constructed. To this date, a memorial service is held here in spring and autumn of every year.



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Night-time hiking is restricted for safety and forest fire prevention reasons

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Address [Map]

Guhyeongwangneung-ro, Sancheong-gun, Gyeongsangnam-do