Gilt bronze figure of seated Buddha

Polonnaruwa was established as the capital of Sri Lanka in 1025 CE after Anuradhapura. The Theravada Buddhist institutions such as the Mahavihara also moved from Anuradhapura to Polonnarruwa. During the Polonnaruwa period, some of the best Buddhist art was produced including the magnificent rock-cut statues of the Gal Vihara.This is a rare figure of a Samadhi Buddha, seated in sukhasana. His hands are placed in dhyana mudra and his face set in a serene expression. Based on similar images of the Anuradhapura period, this figure was crafted at a workshop of the Polonnaruwa period. The practice of inserting a ruby in the siraspata or the flame of enlightenment is a continuation of the style of the Anuradhapura period. The siraspata is also an aspect of iconographic influence on the development of Buddhist art in Southeast Asia, particularly that of Thailand.

11th - 12th century, Polonnaruva Period
Sri Lanka
Object size: 42 x 48 x 47.5 cm
Accession No.
Gilt bronze
Collection of
Indian Heritage Centre