Weligama Kushtaraja gala

Kushtarajagala of the Weligama Divisional Secretariat Division can be reached  on Matara – Colombo Road in the town limits at Weligama near Agrabodhi Vihara. This colossal  image  of Avalokiteshvara of 383 cm in height is sculptured in a niche of the rock. It could  be ascribed to  6-7 c.A.D when the features are taken into account. The upper part of the statue is uncovered and the lower part is covered with a dhoti and a decorative girdle. The neck is adorned with a few necklaces, the arms with bangles and the feet with anklets. Vitarka Mudra on the right hand, Kataka Hasta Mudra  on the left hand and four figures of the Amitabha Dhyani Buddha on the head gear are found on the statue. The statue depicts very clearly the Mahayana concept that prevailed in the 6 -7 centuries A.D. There are some folk stories on the image identified definitely as Avalokiteshvara. One is that a  prince from a foreign country ailing from a skin disease had come on a pilgrimage to Agrabodhi Vihara and had constructed this image on a vow made to God Vishnu. The other is that a prince from Sri Lanka with a skin ailment had built the statue after getting cured by making a vow to Agrabodhi Vihara. As there is evidence to identify that this statue is of Natha Bodhisatva, the folk stories could be accepted to some extent for the reason that there was a belief that this Bodhisatva had healing powers.

Last Updated on Friday, 03 August 2012 05:27