Admiring Ancient Lankan Art during Holidays to Sri Lanka

Avukana in (Sri Lanka)

Avukana in (Sri Lanka)

People, who like carvings and sculptures, can embark on Sri Lanka tours and visit the Buddha statue of Avukana. It is located near the town of Kekirawa in the North Central Province of this island country. This sculpture is believed to have been made in 5th century AD under Dhatusena, the first monarch of the Moriyan dynasty. A story about its carving says that it, along with a similar statue in Sasseruwa, were made as part of a sculpting competition between and master and his pupil. The master finished his first and notified his pupil who, accepting his defeat; left his work unfinished. There are a lot of similarities in the two works, which has led to the belief that the story may be true.

The statue is a monolith, i.e., it has been made by cutting into a single piece of granite rock. This fact has been established by a narrow strip of rock that connects Buddha to its parent boulder. It stands on a lotus-shaped rock-pedestal that seems to have been made somewhere else and positioned under it. The statue measures about 38 feet in height and with the pedestal, its height increases to about 42 feet. In front of it are ruins of stone-structures that perhaps were walls. They hint that in the past the statue stood inside an elaborate shrine. Studying the site in detail has revealed that the shrine probably measured 74 feet in length and 63 feet in breadth.

At the site, the deity is depicted as standing and wearing a robe around his body. The body, along with the robe, is delicately carved and the peculiar details have been beautifully created. The left shoulder of the deity is covered while the right shoulder is left bare, as per the tradition in Sri Lanka, relating to his portrayal. With his left hand, he clutches the garment on his shoulder and with the other, he blesses his followers. Buddhists from across the globe have started visiting this magnificent example of art during their holidays to Sri Lanka, and it has become a popular tourist attraction.


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