Buddha’s Hands

Buddha’s Hands, Buddha on upper platform of the Polonnaruwa Vatadage, Polonnaruwa , Sri Lanka

Hands of one of the  four Buddha sculptures on the upper platform of the Polonnaruwa Vatadage in the ancient city of Polonnaruwa, Sri Lanka.  The circular vatadage is an ancient structure unique to Sri Lanka. The building, which at one time had a roof,  sheltered a stupa (dagoba in Sinhalese), a small dome-shaped  structure built to hold relics of Buddha or a Buddhist saint. Buddhism played an important role in the culture of Polonnaruwa. Polonnaruwa, a UNESCO World Heritage site, was established as the capital city of  Sri Lanka in the 11th Century, C.E., replacing Anuradhapura, which was plundered by invading armies from southern India. Many magnificent ruins remain in the royal city—parks, gardens, monumental buildings and temples, and a lake (tank) which supplied for an large irrigation system that still supplies water for paddy cultivation during the dry season.

A Photo A Week: Hands

Saturday Statues #2: Buddha

Reclining Buddha


Reclining Buddha, Pollonuara, Sri Lanka

Reclining Buddha, Gal Vihara, Polonnaruwa, Sri Lanka

The Gal Vihara is a 12th century rock temple of the Buddha in the ancient city of Polonnaruwa in Sri Lanka. The temple features four relief statues of the Buddha carved into the face of a large granite rock. The reclining figure shows Buddha in parinirvana, which occurs upon the death of the body of someone who has attained nirvana during his or her lifetime.  The statue, at 46 ft 4 in long, is the largest of the four statues in Gal Vihara and one of the largest sculptures in Southeast Asia. The statues are some of the best examples of ancient Sinhalese sculpting and carving arts.

Saturday Statues #2


Ruins of Brick Wall and Buddha at Polonnaruwa, Sri Lanka

Ruins of standing Buddha on the back wall of a temple at Polonnaruwa, Sri Lanka

Ruins of standing Buddha on the back wall of a temple at Polonnaruwa, Sri Lanka


WPC: Wall

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