Sasseruwa Buddha Statue, Sri Lanka
Some 11km west of Aukana Buddha
statue, on a rocky hillside with a pathway of 300 steps, lies
another standing Buddha statue (13 meters). Apparently it isn't
completed. As at Aukana statue, Sasseruwa too was once sheltered in an
image house, as shown by the holes for beams cut into the rock around
it. This housing structure & all other buildings were destroyed by
marauding Dravidian invaders from South India.
There are incomplete works from the very head to toe of the statue: the
ornament above the head, "Siraspata" wasn't craved into the rock; one of
the ears is unfinished; the final finishes to the robe of the Buddha
were not done; the pedestal is simply an undecorated square block of
Two legends connect the Sasseruwa Buddha Statue with the Aukana Buddha.
One legend says that the cracks that appeared on the torso of the statue
during the construction made the craftsman to abandon it & to create a
new statue at Aukana.
The other legend narrates a competition between the master & his
protege. According to the legend two great statues were crafted at the
same time. The master's more detailed Aukana Buddha was completed first
& the protege disheartened of being upstaged by the master, abandoned
his work of art.
This extensive complex has an ancient monastery site over 100 cave
cells, ruins of stupas, moonstones & inscriptions, & dates back to the
second century BC.
Raja Maha Vihara image house
A cave on the path to the Sasseruwa Buddha Statue was converted into an
image house with Buddha statues. At the entrance are a beautiful dragon
arch & a seated Buddha statue.
The second cave image house
Herein lies a massive 39 feet long Buddha statue in reclining posture.
The Bo tree is planted by
King Devanam Piya Tissa (250-210 BC). It is
one of 32 saplings of the
Sacred Sri Maha Bodhi tree in the ancient
monastic capital of Anuradhapura. The sacred tree is well protected by a
wall of stone slabs rising to a height of 3.5 meters.
on photo to enlarge