I agree, Gal Vihāra's Buddhas are among the most beautiful ever made.Caodemarte wrote:
Thanks for those photos! Trappist monk Thomas Merton said the Gal Vihara statures were the greatest "explanation " ever of sunyata (the Mahayana doctrine of emptiness). They really are incredible whatever your religion of beliefs or who carved them or why. Thanks again.
( I think it is helpful to know a bit of background. ( Some say,sometimes winners tend to (re)write the history.))
If you have noticed, many ancient Buddhas are huge or larger than life. I read that this was not arbitrary but intentionally done to highlight the Buddha's matchless status as Mahāpuruṣa.
There are many towering Buddhas on the island (and also elsewhere) -
Some examples :Maligawila ,Gal Vihara,Avukana , Polonnaruwa Lankatilaka, Reswehera , Sasseruwa, Buduruvagala ,Rajagala, Tivanka.....
Sri Lanka is a beautiful country, it has an amazing heritage.
( Some Hindu texts mention that in 8th century one of the 12 Vaishnava saints plundered a Buddhist Vihāra at Nāgappaṭṭinam where a gold Buddha was enshrined. He melted the Buddha and with that gold the sanctum of Sri Rangam Vishnu temple was gilded. We read in the article I linked in a previous post that a replica of Sri Rangam temple is being built in Sri Lanka.....
History is so complex!!)