Avukana Buddha

The Aukana (which means "sun eating") Buddha Statue is a magnificent 5th Century masterpiece of rock carving.

This elegant figure standing 12 meters in height situated adjacent to the spectacular Kala Wewa reservoir is a well proportioned statue of the Buddha in the posture of blessing.

Recommended review time for sightseeing: 30 m

Tourist reviews about Avukana Buddha

Truly impressive
GermanSha... [TA], , Germany

If you're heading north from Kandy don't miss this truly impressive site. It's just south of Anarapadhura.

Breathtaking sculpture
Simon B [TA], , Agde, France

A short walk up a sloping road from the main road to the ticket office, you have no idea what you will be faced with. Even after passing through the 'shoes off' kiosk you can't see the buddha itself. Then you emerge and are hit by the sheer size and beauty of this statue, carved in a single piece from the rock face more than 1500 years ago.

If there is a downside to this place it is that it has become a victim of the SL government's attempt to protect key monuments by building hideous metal frames and roofs around precious pieces (presumably to protect them from the weather) which do distract and detract from the incredible sculptures.

JenandNei... [TA], , Dublin, Ireland

Not as touristy as some of the other religious sites. This sculpture is so beautiful and impressive you'll look up at it in awe. It's a very tranquil place. A little out of the way but worth the effort to get there.

Amazing Sculpture of a Great Image..
Denise K [TA], ,

Before going to Sigiriya, we wanted to visit the sacred site at Avukana. You can't imagine how the statue stands inside a gully of rock.You begin your journey by walking up steps and then once on the temple grounds you view the head which is on the same level as you are walking. It is only when you get close that you realize you are high on a cliff looking down and across at this marvelous sculpture. We were very appreciative that Mr. Hetti, from Hetti Tours, went out of his way and took the time to show us this Wonder.

We were lucky to have some adventure on the way to Aukana
Vaidy_Nat... [TA], , Singapore, Singapore

Aukana Standing Buddha was the first trip in our 1 week vacation in Sri Lanka. This place would be about 1-2 hours drive by a van from Anuradhapura, Habarana or Dambulla; suggest to plan for this based on the time available in your itinerary.

After an hour's drive from Anuradhapura we arrived close to the site and were stopped by the village kids that the van cannot go further to the site owing to flash floods. They told us that we could walk across the train track and the rail bridge to get to the site.

The excitement to view a tall standing Buddha overcame our risk assessment skills and we took the challenge with 2 elders of about 70 years and kids 11 & 6 years. However, the crossing was not as easy as we thought. The steps between the rail's sleeper logs were sometimes more than 2 feet apart crossing them with a stream of madly rushing water below was not at all easy. The thought of missing a step and falling into the gushing water below was scary, besides creating a vertigo effect to make the adrenalin rush more. The kids who were skilled to run across the bridge held our hands and made it possible to cross as we had no option to retreat half way through!

Finally we got to see the tall standing pose of Buddha carved out of a single rock and it was a calming effect for the mad adrenalin rush until that moment. The statue should be easily between 35 to 40 feet tall.

We did not have any guide with us and since there was no details on the historical information about the site, we could just enjoy the marvel of the work but without details backing them.

Impressive Rock Buddha Carving
ljc1205 [TA], ,

This place is off the beaten track and not known to many typical tourist tours and drivers.
It is in a gorgeous area, very quiet and hilly and green (surprise surprise!) it is an idyllic village.
The statue is a short walk up a hill and over some steps and is a working temple with monks present and a shrine to the Hindu Gods.
The Buddha is huge standing upright and just away from the rock, it was originally carved from the rock face behind it. It is a very peaceful place. If you're into meditation this would be a good place to have some 'me time'.

Stone masonry at its best
Lilie1000 [TA], , Frankfurt, Germany

A little off the beaten path, between Mihintale and Dambulla, you will find the master piece of stone masonry that is Avukana Buddha. A close to 12 m high stone buddha carved in one piece out of the rock, including its lotus seat. Legend has it that the carving was a competition between a master and his student who started a stone buddha somewhere in the vicinity. The master won the competition which is what you see today in a truly masterful and artistic display. The posture of the 'blessing buddah' is rare and a sight to be seen. The area does not offer much in terms of services and is all the more peaceful for it. Unless you happen to come along with a bus load full of pilgrims, you will have the place to yourself.

Renovations are almost finished, the buddha can be looked at without scaffolding hindering the views (but for the new canopy protecting the buddha from the elements), currently there are only works done at the monastery building. The little chapel is open for prayer. The food stalls at the bus stop (public transportation possible) is a regular zoo and should be avoided.

With a little time on the road, plan to take a stop at Kala Wewa, a huge lake which offers bathing/swimming and feeding for the more leisurely pilgrim.

Currently scaffolding on site
Paul C [TA], , Utrecht, The Netherlands

We were quite disappointed to find scaffolding up at the site. If we had known this we would not have taken the detour.

It is clearly an impressive rock carving, but the unfathomably large amount of scaffolding in front of the statue detracted significantly from the experience.

I suggest you check ahead and hopefully someone will post here when the situation is back to normal.

Avukana Buddha Statue
Rohan A L... [TA], , Gampaha, Sri Lanka

The Avukana statue is a standing statue of the Buddha near Kekirawa in North Central Sri Lanka. The statue, which has a height of more than 40 feet (12 m), has been carved out of a large granite rock face during the 5th century. It depicts a variation of the Abhaya mudra, and the closely worn robe is elaborately carved. Constructed during the reign of Dhatusena, it may have been made as a result of a competition between a master and a pupil. Avukana statue is one of the best examples of a standing statue constructed in ancient Sri Lanka. It is now a popular tourist attraction in the country.

Tranquil Bliss
SueKot [TA], , London, United Kingdom

This is an absolute must to see. Off the beaten track but close to Anuradhapura it is a small detour on a drive to or from Sirigiya. It may also be visited on a drive between Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa. Up a couple of flights of steps is this 12 metre high statue carved out of the rock. Indeed it is still attached at the back. The Buddha is standing in the blessing pose with one hand (right) in profile. What is worth noting is the plumpness of arms and legs. This is quite different from many other Buddhas. The statue was devoid of tourists making it a calm place to visit what is considered to be a masterpiece. It bears a passing resemblance to those Buddhas destroyed in Afghanistan.

Cannot explain the feeling ........
Senaratna [TA], , Colombo, Sri Lanka

Decided to visit Avukana since I was in the Dambulla area for some other work. The last time I visited this place was about 10 years ago.

Drove to Kekirawa and took the Thalawa road. Then went along the Kalawewa reservoir. Asked for directions at junctions.

It was around 2.30 PM when I visited the place. Just a few foreigners and about 2 locals.
I had the entire place for my self.

I cannot explain the feeling . It was so quite , calm and relaxing.
Stayed for about 1 hour and made a small donation to the temple.

A place worthy of a visit definitely.

So life like...
Mary38677 [TA], , Coventry, United Kingdom

The standing Buddha at Aukana ,is so life like that you expect it to move at any moment !!! 12 metres high the detail is amazing .One of the finest example of Buddhist sculpture !!The site is well kept ,with the exception of the toilets !!

One of the best examples of a standing statue of the Buddha
1LifeStan... [TA], , Colombo

Aukana means 'sun-eating' as the statue's finely-carved features are best seen with the first rays of light. The statue is between Polonnaruwa and Anuradhapura on the Kekirawa Road. The statue carved out of a living rock stands at a height at 12 meters and is the tallest Buddha statue in existence. There is a close resemblance to the Bamiyan Buddha statue in Afghanistan. Traveling to and from the site could take 2 hours from either end (Anuradhapura/ Polonnaruwa).

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