Gal Vihara at Polonnaruwa

Gal Vihara (Sinhala: stone temple) Thervada Buddhist Temple at Polonnaruwa (UNESCO World Heritage Site),Sri Lanka with three Buddha Statues of heroic proportions and a smaller image having a touch of Mahayana Buddhist influence, is the most perfect specimen of Buddha statues hewn out of solid granite in Sri Lanka. According to the Culavamsa, the second part of Mahawamsa, the unparalleled historical chronicle of Sri Lanka, Galvihara, an archeological wonder of the orient near the Demalamaha seya stupa at Polonnaruwa was constructed by King Parakrambahu the Great (1153-1186 A.C), the supreme builder of the Sinhalese Buddhist Nation. Gal Vihara statues, ambitiously conceived and gloriously perfected according to the Oriental canons, on an abrupt boulder of dark granite about 27 meters in length and 10 meters in height at the centre and sloping towards the ends are still in perfect preservation with their irresistible charm and sublimity.
All four images hallowed out of the single massive slab, bringing to life serene facial expressions and graceful flow of the robes, are highly credible efforts to capture the boundless compassion and the infinite wisdom of Siddhartha Gauthama Buddha, the Tathagata (the one who came thus), the Omniscient. The ravages of time, rain, thunder and heat have done no harm upon the statues as if gods, the superior and resplendent beings in some other worlds have protected those for centuries.

In eternal love with Gal Vihara since the discovery of it at the early medieval lost city of Polonnaruwa, Sri Lanka
Nearly a century and a half following the wild flight, the great escape from the natural fortress of Kandy surrounded by wooded hills and River Mahaweli Ganga (Sinhala: Great Sandy River), through Anuradhapura,”a world of hewn stone pillars” of Sri Lanka Holidays by British sailor Robert Knox Jr. (1641-1720) (An historical relation of the Island of Ceylon) in the year 1679, Lieutenant Mitchell Henry Fagan of the 2nd Ceylon Regiment, forcing his way through almost impenetrable undergrowth in the year 1820, encountered-face to face-a colossal statue gazing out at him from the foliage: Galvihara. A colossal figure of Buddha cut from a granite wall was most serenely gazing at him from out of the foliage. “I cannot describe what I felt at that moment,” he wrote.
“Neither could I when I first saw the great statues at the tender age of 8. It was like dream that you dream when just about to wake up. And you wake up with the dream & still on a cloud. But the upright Big Buddha most definitely smiled at me. Am I dreaming? No, Big Buddha smiled again.” That’s bunpeiris. There sprang up an eternal love on the spur of the moment: Gal Vihara was no longer a rock temple of rock carved statues. It is the heartthrob. If it was the flow of the sculptor’s heart then, since then, it has been the stream that wash and cleanse the minds and the hearts of all those who stand in front of it. Stand, kneel or sit in front of the great statues. The sweeping serenity of the statues would breeze-open your heart and inflame it with eternal love.