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Gal Vihara Polonnaruwa

Gal Vihara is an ancient Buddhist temple. Location of this enormous place is inside of Polonnaruwa ancient city. Every visitor who visits Polonnaruwa does not ever miss this place. We can see some perfectly carved Buddha statues here. Furthermore, all of those Buddha statues are stone carvings. We are sure; you will definitely surprise seeing those fine carvings.

History and Architecture of Gal Vihara

According to the historical facts, the great king Parakramabahu ordered to carve those statues during his ruling period (1153 – 1185 AD). We can see four caves in this immense stone. The cave complex is about 27 meters in length and 10 meters in height. In fact, we can see the maximum height in the center and tapering to the both ends.

The four caves are Vijjadhara cave, excavated cave, standing image cave and the reclining image cave. Furthermore, there are evidences to prove that, brick walls existed between the four caves to separate them each other. Nevertheless, you could not able to see the brick walls in the present.

The Four Caves of Gal Vihara

As we said that, Gal Vihara has four caves. Main cave is the Vijjadhara cave and it contains the main carving of Lord Buddha. We can see some other carvings inside in addition to the main Buddha image.

The second cave we are mentioning here is the excavated cave. This cave contains a Buddha statue posing Dhyana Mudra. Furthermore, this cave is amazing because the artist carved it on the rock bolder to emphasize the inside images.

The cave with the standing image is the third one in Gal Vihara. This statue is about 7 meters high and stands on a lotus. Fourth cave is the reclining image cave. This cave contains a reclining image of Lord Buddha.

Some archeologists believe that, the standing image is not a Buddha statue. They believe that it is the statue of Ananda Thero.

Anyway, the Gal Vihara carvings are amazing. Every visitor to Polonnaruwa must visit to see these finest carvings.

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