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A stunning freestanding Buddha statue in Maligawila. Built in the 7th century by Prince Aggabodhi and carved out of a massive limestone rock, this is the tallest freestanding Buddha statue in Sri Lanka, the height is recorded as 37 feet and 10 inches. The statue reflects the “Asisa Mudra” (gesture of fearlessness) and has similarities to the Avukana statue.
The records of Culavamsa say that Prince Aggabodhi from Ruhuna built this massive statue and a temple called Pathma Vihara. It is also identified that there has been an image house providing shelter to the statue at the time. The 80 feet rectangular image house was believed to be 65 feet tall, with 4 feet thick walls.
The statue has been collapsed and broken to pieces before it was discovered in 1951. Before that it was damaged by treasure hunters. A project was carried out in 1974 by Lankem Ceylon PLC under the government of president Ranasinghe Premadasa to paste the pieces together, repair and restate the statue.