About Gal Vihara
Gal Vihara, also known as Gal Viharaya, are a series of stone sculptures of Buddha built during the reign of Sinhalese king Parakrama Bahu (1153–1186) in the city of Polonnaruwa in Sri Lanka.
Originally part of the king’s Northern Monastery, the Gal Vihara is comprised of four such carvings, each with an individual pose – thought to each represent a different stage in Buddha’s life – and of different sizes.
The largest one is 46 feet high and depicts a reclining Buddha while the oldest of the group, which shows Buddha standing, is 23 feet high. Today, the Gal Vihara statues are contained within an unsightly metal structure, but are still well worth seeing.
Polonnaruwa contains the UNESCO-listed ruins of what was the medieval capital of Ceylon.
The Lankatilaka Vihara is a twelfth century sacred shrine in Polonnaruwa which houses a giant medieval Buddha statue.
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