There are number of well known seated Buddha Statues such as Anuradhapura Smadhi Statues at Mahamevuna Uyana, Toluvila Statue (now at the National Museum) and. But there are more unknown statues of equal artistic value at Pankuliya, Paluvilandawa Tank at Weeransole (now at Wilpatthu National Park Ticketing Office) and at Divulwewa. But another unknown granite Samadhi Statue lies in the Gal Amuna area in Medirigirya. A photo of this statue appeared in the book “The Buddha Image and Ceylon” by D.T. Devendra published in 1957.
This statue now lies at Sri Vivekarama Raja Maha Viharaya ( Sri Wiwekaaramaya) in the area known as Bisobandara in Medirigiriya. It is believed that this has been a monastery built by princess Bisobandara, sister of King Mahasen (276-303) who is credited with building Minneriya, Kaudulla and Padaviya reservoirs. Princess Bisobandara had been outcasted to this area due to a love affair with a common man. Legend even credits the building of the massive Kaudulla Reservoir to princess Bisobandara although the Mahavamsa gives the credit to his brother, king Mahasen.
According to a caretaker of the temple, this statues was buried underground and when the road from the Medirigiriya town was being built, an excavator has hit something hard and was unable to proceed. When the reason was investigated, they have found the buried statue lying the route the road was being built. Then, it has been moved to a side ( where it is today). I was also told that the statue was stolen by a group of treasure hunters in recent years and recovered again.
According a notice board by the Archaeological Department, a moonstone, a guardstone and few other artifacts belonging to the early Anuradhapura period have been discovered. Behind the statue lies a set of pillar stumps which is believed to be a Tampita Viharaya belonging to Kandyan period.
Map of Medirigiriya Galamuna Samadhi Statue
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Route from Polonnaruwa to Medirigiriya Galamuna Samadhi Statue
|Distance : 29 km
Travel time : 50 mins
Driving directions : see on google map