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Gal Vihara Statues

Photo credit: rahuldlucca / Foter / CC BY
Gal Vihara Statues
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The impressive Buddha statues

Polonnaruwa, Sri Lanka

Polonnaruwa Gal Viharaya site holds several Buddha statues in different positions (standing, seated and reclined), all made from the same granite rock. The site was created by King Parakamabahu with the help of carvers.


A brief introduction to the statues:


The main statue: 5.8 meters (16 feet) tall. Archeologists have proven that there was a house built around it, but was later destroyed.


The standing Buddha statue: considered to be different to other standing statues in Asia because Buddha’s arms are folded and his eyes are closed. Some studies have shown that this statue was built later than the others by someone who wasn’t King Parakambahu.


Parinirvana (reclined) statue: The statue was believed to show Buddha dying and is also known as “The final extinction statue”, however, it is said it shows Buddha entering into Nirvana. It is 4.2 meteres (14 feet) long.