The Sri Lanka Travel Specialists
The ancient rock carvings at Buduruwagala, close to Welawaya, date back to the 8th century. Seven gigantic Buddhist figures are sculpted into a 70ft cliff including a colossal image of Lord Buddha spanning a height of about 50ft.
The giant Buddha figure – thought by some scholars to be the tallest in the world – is most impressive above the waist, the lower part being in rough condition. The raised right hand indicates kindness and freedom from fear. A slight orange hue suggests that image was once painted.
The Buddha is flanked by three smaller statues on each side. The figures on the right are most interesting. They are the Avalokiteshvara Bodhisattva, who granted succour to the poor and helpless; the Goddess Tara, who reputedly had the power to prevent natural disasters and disease; and Prince Sudhana, whose task was to guide young people towards the path of righteousness. All of these are figures from the Mahayana Buddhist tradition.
Buduruwagala, which roughly translates to “Buddha rock images”, can be reached from either Wellawaya or Thanamalwila with the last 4kms along an unmade road.
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