Buduruwagala is an ancient temple in Wellawaya, Sri Lanka. If you’re looking for an interesting historical temple while you’re staying in Ella, Buduruwagala is the ideal place to visit and show respect. It’s a Buddhist temple, so you should follow the rules that apply to visiting temples in Sri Lanka.
The main attraction at Buduruwagala is the beautiful rock-cut Buddha figures, which are over 1,000 years old. The tallest standing Buddha in this area, measuring 15 meters, still shows traces of its original stuccoes robe, and a long streak of orange suggests it was once brightly painted. It is surrounded by smaller carved figures.
Seven figures are carved on this rock, with a massive 51-foot-tall Buddha statue at the center, making the Abhaya Mudra gesture. The rock itself has the shape of a kneeling elephant with its head down. While there’s no written history about this site in ancient texts, various historians have estimated that these statues were created between the 6th century and the late Anuradhapura period (between the 8th and 10th centuries). These carvings follow the Mahayana Buddhist style and belong to the Pallava-Sri Lankan art tradition, similar to the statues at Dova Temple.
Until the Taliban’s destruction of the Bamiyan Buddha statues in Afghanistan in March 2001, those were the tallest Buddha statues in the world. Now, the Buduruwagala Buddha Statue is considered the tallest.
In the middle, there is the main statue flanked by two statues, each about 40 feet tall. On the sides of these, there are two additional figures, one female and the other male.
The ticket cost for adults is 1,000 LKR.