Dambegoda Bodhisattva Statue
The Dambegoda Bodhisattva statue is a remarkable figure in the history of Sri Lankan Buddhism. This colossus, carved out of a single crystalline limestone, stands an impressive 9.85 meters (32.3 feet) tall and weighs about 40 tons. It sits atop a small stepped pyramid, a natural hill, terraced and edged by walls built of quarry stone. Only half a kilometre from the Maligawila Buddha Statue, the Dambegoda Bodhisattva statue was discovered fallen from its pedestal, broken into several pieces, and with its face down but intact. Treasure hunters have blown up the statue using dynamite. Sri Lanka's Department of Archeology restored and re-erected the statue in the early 1990s.
The History of the Dambegoda Bodhisattva Statue
The statue's history dates back to the 9th century AD when King Dappula constructed it in honour of Lord Buddha. The statue was carved out of a single rock and is 38 feet tall, making it one of the giant standing Buddha statues in Sri Lanka.
The statue was lost to history for many years until it was rediscovered in 1941. During the colonial period, the statue was neglected and covered with vegetation. When a local villager stumbled upon it while hunting in the area, its significance was realized.
After the statue was rediscovered, archaeologists and Buddhist scholars began to study it. They discovered that it had been built during the reign of King Dappula in the 9th century AD. The statue was later renovated and restored to its former glory in the early 2000s, and it remains a popular destination for tourists and pilgrims alike.
The Meaning of the Dambegoda Bodhisattva Statue
The Dambegoda Bodhisattva Statue symbolizes compassion, wisdom, and spiritual enlightenment in Buddhism. As a bodhisattva, this statue represents one who has achieved enlightenment but chooses to stay in the world to help others reach enlightenment.
The statue's serene expression and peaceful pose depict the ideal of a bodhisattva who is patient and understanding towards all sentient beings. The gentle smile on the statue's face embodies the bodhisattva's compassionate nature, while the folded hands signify a sense of inner peace and meditation.
Furthermore, the Dambegoda Bodhisattva Statue's intricate design and craftsmanship reflect the importance of attention to detail and dedication to one's spiritual path in Buddhism. Therefore, it is not just a representation of a bodhisattva but also a work of art that embodies the values and principles of Buddhism.
How to reach Dambegoda Bodhisattva Statue
Dambegoda Bodhisattva Statue is a popular tourist destination in Sri Lanka known for its design and craftsmanship. Here are the ways to reach Dambegoda Bodhisattva Statue:
By car: Maligawila is located about 6 km from Buttala in the Monaragala District. You can hire a taxi or rent a car to get there. The journey takes about 30 minutes from Buttala.
By bus: Several buses operate from Colombo, Kandy, and other major cities to Buttala. From Buttala, you can take a tuk-tuk or taxi to reach Maligawila.
By train: The nearest railway station to Maligawila is Ella, about 35 km away. From Ella, you can take a bus or taxi to reach Maligawila.