The construction of this temple at the southwestern foot of Tohamsan Mountain was begun by Prime Minister King Tae-song in 751. The 10th year of the reign of King Kyongduk and was completed in 774, the 10th year of King Hyegong.
At the time of its completion, it was one of the largest Buddhist temples with more than 80 wooden buildings. It served as a center of Silla Buddhism and of prayer for the protection of the country from foreign invasion. The entire temple was reduced to ashes by Japanese invaders in 1593.