The Avukana Buddha statue is a standing statue of the Buddha near Kekirawa in North Central Sri- Lanka.The statue, which has a height of more than 40 feet, has been carved out of a large granite rock face during the 5th century. It depicts a variation of the Abhaya mudra, and the closely worn robe is elaborately carved. Constructed during the reign of Dhatusena, it may have been made as a result of a competition between a master and a pupil. Avukana statue is one of the best examples of a standing statue constructed in ancient Sri Lanka. It is now a popular tourist attraction in the country.
Unlike other great statues in the island which are carved in "Abhaya Mudra" (Have no fear), the Avukana statue is in the "Asisa Mudra", the blessing position, with the right hand turned sideways to the viewer. The figure is carved in the round, narrowly connected at the rear to the rock.
The perfect Buddha statue
Carved out of the living rock with supreme assurance, Avukana Buddha is a magnificent image. His expression is serene & from his curled hair there sprouts the flame called siraspata signifying the power of supreme enlightenment. Although the statue is large & stands straight up with feet firmly planted on the lotus stone pedestal, the body retains a graceful quality enhanced by beautifully flowing drapery clinging to the body.
The tallest Buddha statue in the world
The magnificent free-standing statue carved out of a single rock is the tallest Buddha statue in existence today. Following the destruction of similar but much larger statues at Bamiyan in Afghanistan, the Avukana Buddha has gained even greater significance in the Buddhist World.
The whole of cultured world was horrified at the savagery & barbarity inflicted upon the colossal Bamian Buddha statues carved from the cliffs that dominate the dusty plains in the heart of Hindu Kush which have watched serenely for 15 centuries as the fortunes of the city beneath them waned from Silk Road metropolis to remote Afghan backwater.
In honor of the destroyed & in defiance of intolerant, China quietly goes with its own form of defiance: in their territory, carving, sculpting, erecting two statues similar in every conceivable way, to the two Buddha Statues destroyed by Taliban. In the ancient times Bamiyan, the region where Mahayana Buddhism originated, was known as Vokkana or Avukana. Do we have a clue to the name Avukana? In Sinhalese there is no such word as Avukana meaning sun eating as erroneously proclaimed.
Best time to see the best time to see the magnificent statue is at the crack of dawn when the first rays of sun light up the east-facing statue's finely carved features.
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