Tsunami Honganji Buddha Statue – Hikkaduwa


Tsunami Honganji Buddha Statue was opened on 26th December 2006 at Paraliya Hikkaduwa as a monument to the over 35,000 Sri Lankans executed by the Tsunami on the 26th December 2004. This sculpture is a precise duplicate of the 5th Century 175 feet Bamiyan Buddha Statue damaged by the Muslim Fundamentalists in Afghanistan. This replica was built using the earliest identified sketches of the statue.
A pulp-like material has been used to get the colour and the texture of the statue. This pulp has been used in the cement structure. Unfortunately, just a week after opening, this pulp-like material appears to come off the cement at the very bottom of the image.

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Historical Background

The Bamiyan Buddha Statue in Afghanistan stands as a testament to the artistic and cultural heritage of the region. It held immense historical significance, representing the rich Buddhist tradition that once flourished in the area. Tragically, in a devastating act of destruction, the statue was demolished by Muslim Fundamentalists, erasing a precious piece of history.

Design and Construction

The Tsunami Honganji Buddha Statue was meticulously crafted, ensuring its resemblance to the original Barmiyan Buddha Statue. A pulp-like material was applied to the cement structure to capture the ancient masterpiece's colour and texture. This innovative technique aimed to recreate the aesthetic appeal of the original statue. However, within a week of its opening, concerns arose as the pulp-like material started peeling off from the bottom of the figure, casting doubts on its long-term durability and visual integrity.

Location and Accessibility

Situated just a short tuk-tuk ride from Hikkaduwa, the Tsunami Honganji Buddha Statue is conveniently accessible to visitors. While visiting the statue, one can also explore the nearby memorial honouring the Tsunami victims and the fascinating 'photograph' museum located further along the main road. The site offers a poignant experience, allowing visitors to connect with the past and reflect on the resilience of the human spirit.

Significance and Symbolism

The Tsunami Honganji Buddha Statue is a powerful symbol of remembrance, commemorating the lives lost during the devastating Tsunami. In Sri Lanka, Buddha statues hold immense cultural and religious significance, symbolizing peace, enlightenment, and spiritual guidance. This replica, standing tall amidst the tranquil landscape, signifies the strength of the Sri Lankan people and their determination to rebuild their lives after the tragedy.

Visitor Experience

As visitors approach the Tsunami Honganji Buddha Statue, they are struck by its towering presence and the intricate craftsmanship that went into its creation. The sheer scale of the statue evokes a sense of awe and reverence, reminding visitors of the profound impact of natural disasters. Many find themselves overwhelmed with emotion, contemplating the fragility of life and the resilience of the human spirit.

Conservation Efforts

Given the concerns regarding the durability of the pulp-like material used on the statue's exterior, conservation efforts have been put in place to preserve this significant memorial. Ongoing measures include regular inspections, maintenance work, and research into alternative methods that ensure the long-term integrity of the statute. These efforts aim to safeguard the monument's visual appeal and secure its existence as a testament to the Tsunami victims.

The Tsunami Honganji Buddha Statue stands as a remarkable memorial, honouring the memory of those lost in the devastating Tsunami of 2004. Inspired by the ancient Bamiyan Buddha Statue, its creation carries a powerful message of resilience and remembrance. Visitors are invited to witness the awe-inspiring stature of the statue, pay their respects, and reflect on the strength of the human spirit in the face of adversity. Visiting this sacred site in Hikkaduwa offers a profound and thought-provoking experience.


1. How tall is the Tsunami Honganji Buddha Statue?

The Tsunami Honganji Buddha Statue stands at an impressive height of 175 feet, replicating the grandeur of the original Barmiyan Buddha Statue.

2. What materials were used to create the replica?

The replica of the Bamiyan Buddha Statue was created using a combination of cement and a pulp-like material that provided the colour and texture of the statue.

3. How long did it take to construct the statue?

The construction of the Tsunami Honganji Buddha Statue took considerable time and effort. However, specific details regarding the duration of the construction process are not readily available.

4. Is there an admission fee to visit the statue?

Visiting the Tsunami Honganji Buddha Statue does not require an admission fee. Instead, it is a public memorial, open for all to pay their respects.

5. Can visitors take photographs at the memorial site?

Yes, visitors are generally allowed to take photographs at the memorial site. However, it is essential to be respectful and considerate while capturing the essence of this sacred place.



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