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Must Visit Locations

Aukana Buddha Statue, Sri Lanka

Some 30km northwest of Golden Dambulla Rock Temple, the village of Aukana located close to the large ancient Kala Wewa rainwater reservoir, is home to the most perfectly preserved ancient statue in Sri Lanka. The perfect & elegant 12m-high standing Buddha is adored all over the island to such an extent, that several full scale copies have been erected in the island: Colombo, Dondra, Ratnapura, and Trincomalee. The statue was erected in the same period as those at Polonnaruwa's Gal Vihara & Lankatilaka Vihara as well as Buduruwagala & Maligawila all of which emphasis on Buddha's superhuman, transcendal powers.

Bless you

Unlike other great statues in the island which are carved in "Abhaya Mudra" (Have no fear), the Aukana 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, Aukana 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 Aukana 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 honour 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 Avakana. Do we have a clue to the name Aukana? In Sinhalese there is no such word as Aukana 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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Photo Gallery

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Aukana Buddha Statue

Aukana Buddha Statue

Aukana Buddha Statue

Aukana Buddha Statue

Aukana Buddha Statue

At Aukana Buddha Statue

At Aukana Buddha Statue

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