Viewing Statues of Lord Buddha during Holidays in Sri Lanka and Nepal

Gal Vihara in Sri Lanka

Gal Vihara in Sri Lanka

There are numerous Buddhist sites to visit during holidays in Sri Lanka, including the acclaimed Gal Vihara in Polunnaruwa. It is known for its huge rock that has been cut 15 feet deep to cut-out four statues of Lord Buddha. The smallest statue is a little more than 4 feet high and shows the deity in his signature meditating pose. On the pedestal on which it sits are images of lions with a circular figure in the centre. Sculptures of people, holding a shaft in their hands, are on either sides of the central figure. To the left of the deity is a depiction of a figure that appears human, but has a head of a beast. The divine figure is sitting with crossed legs and his hands, one on top of the other, rest on his lap.

The second image is similar to this, but is around 15 feet high. On the base of its platform too are relief of seated lions, alternating between 6-spoked designs. Third in line is 22-feet tall standing statue of the figure with his arms crossed and pressing against his chest. People are of different opinion about this sculpture. Some maintain that it is of Ananda, one of the disciples of Lord Buddha, who is sad due to the passing of the latter. This has been hypothesised by studying the expression on the face of the idol, which seems sorrowful. The other opinion is that it is a portrayal of the deity from the time, he meditated under the Bodhi tree and his hands are crossed as a sign of gratitude.

People, coming here, also see the reclining sculpture of Lord Buddha, which at more than 46 feet, is the largest idol. Here, he is shown during the time his soul was liberated and he went to heaven. His right palm rests on a cushion, and supports his head. He is lying with a straightened body with his left arm, resting on his body. Visitors, interested in seeing more such Buddha idols, may avail Nepal tour packages as well as it too has numerous statues of the deity.

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