Hwangnyongsa, or Hwangnyong Temple, is the name of a former Buddhist temple in the city of Gyeongju, South Korea. Built in the 6th century, it was the center of state-sponsored Buddhism during the Silla and Unified Silla eras. Its name means "Golden/Yellow Dragon Temple" or "Emperor/Imperial Dragon Temple." Archaeological excavations and other scientific studies of the temple began in April 1976 (OCPRI 1984) and continue today.
Buddhism was strongly resisted by the nobles of Silla while the king personally supported the new religion. The king's Grand Secretary, Ichadon, suggested that he forge the king's royal seal and create an order that the people adopt the new religion. When the forgery was discovered by the nobles, Ichadon suggested that he be made the scapegoat and that through his death the power of Buddha made manifest. The king agreed to the plan. The nobles were predictably outraged when they discovered Ichadon's forgery and the king ordered his execution. When Ichadon was executed, a series of miracles occurred which proved the power and reality of the Buddhist faith and the nobles converted to the new state religion. Ichadon's sacrifice was the impetus to the building of Hwangnyongsa Temple.