Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Buduruwagala - Sri Lanka

A Rock Carving of Maithri Bodhisattva photographed in Buduruwagala Sri Lanka
Rock Carving of Maithri Bodhisathva - Buduruwagala, Sri Lanka

Buduruwagala was one of several stops I made on my way to Arugam Bay in July. The area is known for an archeological site located in the middle of the jungle relatively close to the town. The main features of the site are the seven figures that have been carved into the side of a large rock. The rock itself is said to look like an elephant kneeling down with its trunk in its mouth. Buduruwagala loosly translates to "Stone images of the Buddha".

More photographs inside.

A Rock Carving of Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva photographed in Buduruwagala Sri Lanka
 Rock Carvings of Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva - Buduruwagala, Sri Lanka

The centre carving is a standing Buddha statue which measures 51 feet. This is the tallest standing Buddha statue in Sri Lanka and perhaps the world (since the Bamiyan statues were destroyed). The statue is complete above the waist but the bottom section is still rough. This may indicate that this statue was actually a model.

A Photograph of the Buddha Statue at Buduruwagala Sri Lanka
The Buddha Statue - Buduruwagala, Sri Lanka

The main figure in the group to the right of the Buddha statue is Avalokitesvara Bodhisatva. This figure has retained a substantial amount of its white finish and traces of orange around the head. The main statue too has traces of white robes. The centre of the crown of the Avalokitesvara statue is a figure of the Buddha in meditation. The figure to the left of the Avalokiteswara has been identified as Tara Devi and the figure to the right is said to be Prince Sudhana.

A Rock Carving of Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva photographed in Buduruwagala Sri Lanka
Rock Carvings of Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva - Buduruwagala, Sri Lanka

The centre figure on the group to the left of the Buddha statue is the Maithri Bodhisatva , the fifth Buddha for this aeon (first photograph). The details of the crown, ornaments and the robe can be clearly seen. The statues on either side of the Maithri Buddha have not been identified.


A Photograph of the statues at Buduruwagala, Sri Lanka
The statues at Buduruwagala - Sri Lanka

We made it to Buduruwagala at around midday and the light was terrible for photography. We had a long drive and there was no way we could have made it any earlier. Since we were driving on to Arugam Bay on the same day, we were not able to stay overnight in the area. I've converted some of these photographs to black and white images as I felt they brought out the textures a bit more.

All photograps on this post were taken with the 24-105mm lens and the Canon 7D.

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