Dutugemunu Statue (Ruwanweliseya)

Dutugemunu Statue
The image popularly known as the Statue of Dutugemunu is found standing on the compound of the Ruwanweliseya Stupa at Maha Viharaya complex in Anuradhapura District, Sri Lanka. It was discovered along with Four Buddha Statues in a dilapidated image house in the compound of the Ruwanweliseya (Vanarathana, 1990).

The statue is believed to be a representation of King Dutugemunu (161-137 B.C.), the builder of Ruwanweliseya Stupa. The two arms of the statue were missing when it was discovered but presently it has been restored with the Anjali Mudra (Vanarathana, 1990). The details of the jewellery and the arrangement of the Dhoti indicate that this is a statue of a royal person than a Boddhisattva (Wijesekera, 1962).

Some scholars such as Nandadeva Wijesekera have dated this statue to the 1st century B.C. (Wijesekera, 1962). However, according to the view of Ven. Vanarathana Thera, this statue shows Gupta characteristics and therefore belongs to the late Anuradhapura Period (Vanarathana, 1990).

1) Vanarathana, K., 1990. Sculpture and carvings of Sri Lanka from the 1st to 5th century A.D. Archaeological Department Centenary (1890-1990): Commemorative Series: Vol. IV: Sculpture. p.34.
2) Wijesekera, N., 1962. Early Sinhalese Sculpture. M.D. Gunasena & Co. Ltd. Colombo. p.243.

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This page was last updated on 1 January 2023
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