Visiting Sri Lanka? Holidays here are filled with much wonder and excitement as this tiny teardrop nation in the Indian Ocean is filled with many sights and splendours that are the outcome of over 2500 years of heritage and history. One of the best ways to witness this would be to visit its ancient monuments such as the magnificent Gal Viharaya in Polonnaruwa.
Originally named as the Uttararama, the Gal Viharaya is a 12th Century masterpiece of a temple that was built by the great Parakramabahu I. What gives this temple much admiration and its name (Gal Viharaya- rock monastery) are the four gigantic images of the Buddha carved straight out from the granite rock. So if you’re touring the country with a travel agent the likes of Jetwing Travels make sure the Gal Viharaya is listed in your itinerary as the stone images here are considered to be some of the best examples of ancient Sinhalese carving and sculpting arts. The stone carvings at the temple consist of a 15 feet seated image, a smaller seated statue of 4 feet 7 inches, a standing image of 22 feet 9 inches, and the majestic 46 feet reclining image that depicts the Buddha’s parinirvana and which is the largest in Gal Vihara.
The Buddha statues at the Gal Viharaya have gained the attention of many historians and archaeologists due to the unique style in which they are crafted at. The Standing image of the Buddha itself has been the subject of much dispute as some state that it shows not the image of the Buddha, but of Ananda, one of his disciples. No matter the controversy surrounding these great creations of stone, one thing is for sure, that the Gal Viharaya depicts the astounding skill, knowledge, and heritage of ancient Sri Lanka.
|Auburn Silver is a travel writer who has a passion for fashion and a deep interest in admiring new and exotic attractions around the world. Google+|