Undiscovered Sri Lanka
Avukana Buddha Statue
The Avukana Buddha Statue is a trademark of the technology ancient Sri Lanka had and one of the most popular artifacts in the country. The Avukana Statue is a masterpiece built only by hand without using any machinery whatsoever, the temple which the Avukana statue is situated in is built on one of the corners of “Kala Wewa” hence it is also known as the “Wewukona Viharaya” since the Avukana statue was built on a side of a rock it is also known as “Pabbthakoona and Paukona” Avukana statue was built in the very early stages of when Buddhism was being introduced to Sri Lanka.
This magnificent creation was built by stonemason known as “Bharana” from A.D 459 to 477 in King Dhatusenas time. King Dhatusena was so amazed by the beautiful work done by Bharana that he decided to name the area the statue was situated in “Galwaduwagama” and gave Bharana the full control of the area.
Bharana started building the statue in the 5th century but the steps “Patimagaraya” was later added on in the 8th century. “Patimagaraya” was built ten feet high from ground level, the statues height is approximately 38 feet and 10 inches, with the “Siraspatha” the statue is said to be 42 feet and 6 inches, from the “Padmasana” to the “Siraspatha” the total height is approximately 64 feet and 4 inches.
To show the balance of the statue the water that drops down on the statues head rolls down on to the nose and drops into a hole in the ground between its legs without touching any other part of the statue. The statue is built in the “Abhaya Mudra” position to show fearlessness and intelligence and is a mark of peace and harmony. The Avukana Buddha Statue is a must see landmark for anyone who visits Sri Lanka.
Raswehera Buddha Statue
Raswehera is another amazing creation built by Sri Lankan stonemason, the name “Raswehera” has a beautiful meaning behind it, the statue is carved into stone and at first it was called “Sesseruwa” and then “Resseruwa” later on “Raswehera”. Today at present the most commonly used names are Raswehera and Sesseruwa. The height of the statue is approximately 39 feet and 3 inches. According to the local folks the statue was built in King Mahasen’s era but there’s no real evidence to be found to prove it as facts.
The statue is situated on the Anuradhapura and Kurunegala district border but it belongs to the Anuradhapura district. Even though the statue is one of the main attractions in the country not a lot of tourists visit Raswehera, it is our duty to promote one the most picturesque locations in the island. Raswehera is very similar to “The Avukana Buddha Statue” it is said to be that a student and a teacher had a race to see who would finish their statue first hence Raswehera and Avukana statues are the result of it.
Avukana & Raswehera (Differential)
From ancient times a lot of stories have been told by the local folks about the Avukana Buddha Statue and Raswehera. A lot of similarities can be seen between the statues, the statues were built because of a student-teacher rivalry as the end result today you can see the completed Arukana Buddha Statue and Raswehera. The student had finished building Arukana Buddha Statue before the teacher had finished building Raswehera due to this embarrassing situation the teacher had jumped from the rock which Raswehera Statue was being built and killed himself.
The Raswehera statue is much taller in height than the Avukana Buddha statue, The Avukana Statue has a “Siraspatha”, the Raswehera statue does not have one, it is said to be that the Raswehera statue also use to have a “Siraspatha” built out of wood but with time it has decayed. The Avukana Statue is made from embossing the rock while the Raswehera statue is carved into plain rock.
A clear difference can be seen between the right hands of the statues, Avukana Buddha statue was completely build while the Raswehera statue wasn’t due to the tragic event that took place. Both these historic places are not visited regularly by foreigners but we at Go Ceylon Holidays are willing to give you this experience.