Sunday, April 1, 2018

Buduruwagala

Buduruwagala statues, Wellawaya, Sri Lanka
Buduruwagala is an ancient Buddhist temple situated in Monaragala District in Sri Lanka. The temple is located about 2.5 km far from the Buduruwagala junction on Wellawaya-Thissamaharama main road.

Buduruwagala Buddha statue, Sri Lanka Buduruwagala is a protected archaeological reserve consisting of two sites (Nimal, 2011). The first site, located adjacent to the Buduruwagala Wewa, is a ruined monastery complex. It contains a Stupa, remnants of a boundary wall and several other buildings. The second site contains the famous sculptures carved on the Buduruwagala rock which is located about 0.5 km far from the first site.

Seven figures belonging to the 7-9 centuries A.D. are found on the face of the Buduruwagala rock. They include six Bodhisattva images and a colossal Buddha statue (Deegalle, 1998). The figures are sculptured in bas-relief manner and thought to be belonged to the Mahayana tradition. The central figure is a standing Buddha statue showing the Abhaya Mudra by its right hand. While holding the robe, the left hand depicts the Kataka Mudra. The statue is about 13 meters tall and believed to be the tallest Buddha image (ancient) found so far in Sri Lanka (Deegalle, 1998). It represents similar style and workmanship to that of the standing Buddha statues at Avukana in Anuradhapura (Wikramagamage, 1990) as well as Dowa Raja Maha viharaya in Ella (Deegalle, 1998). According to Senarath Paranavitana this is a statue of Dipankara Buddha belonging to the 6th century A.D.. Sudana, Avalokitheshwara, Tara - Buduruwagala, Sri LankaThis image is considered as a special piece of work found in the country as it shows the features of Pallawa-Sri Lankan tradition of Buddhist art (Wikramagamage, 1990).

To the right hand side of the central Buddha statue are three standing Bodhisattva images: Avalokitheshwara Natha (7.16 m), Tara (5.98 m) and Sudhanakumara [(6.53 m) Deegalle, 1998]. Avalokitheshwara is in the center accompanied by Tara at the left hand and Sudhanakumara at the right. To the left of the central Buddha are also three male images of Bodhisatva: Maithreya (7.3 m), Vajrapani (6.4 m) and an unidentified figure which is believed to be a variation of Bodhisattva Avalokiteshwara [(6.17 m) Deegalle, 1998].

A protected site
The Buduruwagala rock (in the lot no. 1 of the sheet no. 2668) and the old Stupa located near the Buduruwagala tank in the Medagoda village in the Divisional Secretary’s Division, Wellawaya are archaeological protected monuments, declared by a government gazette notification published on 4 June 2004.

An unidentified figure, Maithri, Vajrapani The mustard oil lamp Monastery ruins Ruins of a Stupa
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References
1) Deegalle, M., 1998. Buddha's Rock: Mahayana Legacy at Buduruvagala. Journal of Pali and Buddhist Studies, 12, pp.103-115.
2) Nimal, R. K. B. H., 2011. Aithihasika Buduruwagala (In Sinhala). Department of Archaeology. pp. 1-10.
3) The Gazette of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. No: 1344. 4 June 2004. p.15.
4) Wikramagamage, C., 1990. [Wijesekara, N. (Editor in chief)]. Archaeological Department Centenary (1890-1990): Commemorative Series: Vol. IV: Sculpture: Colombo. Commissioner of Archaeology. p. 52.

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This page was last updated on 19 March 2020
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