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Kushtarajagala statue

Kushtarajagala statue

Kushtarajagala near Weligama town between Galle and Matara is a stone statue that is said to have been built in the sixth or seventh century. This statue was created near the Agrabodhi Rajamaha Viharaya on the Old Galle Road starting from Kumbalgama in Weligama. If you come along the Weligama New Road and turn left at the thanayama Junction and walk for about 500 meters you will come across the Kushtarajagala statue.

Legend has it that King Agbo IV, who was afflicted with leprosy, came to the Devinuwara Devalaya to seek the blessings of God and built a statue of Avalokiteshvara Natha on the promise that he would build a statue of Lord Natha after he was cured of leprosy. It is designed to be attached to a large rock about eight feet high. Also decorated with neck and bracelets. It is a well-known fact that the worship of Avalokiteshvara Bodhisattva was common during the time of Mahayana Buddhism. History also tells us that in ancient times, people who sailed in naval vessels also worshiped the Avalokiteshvara Buddha statues for their protection. The Kushtarajagala statue in Weligama has been created at the Agrabodhi Rajamaha Vihara premises.

Agra Bodhi Rajamaha Viharaya is a sacred place built during the reign of King Devanam Piyatissa. Although the Agra Bodhi Rajamaha Viharaya and the Kushtarajagala statue were located on the same land at that time, the Agra Bodhi Rajamaha Viharaya and Kushtarajagala were separated during the construction of the coastal railway line during the British rule. In 1980, a project to conserve the Kushtarajagala was launched by the then government in power. Accordingly, a number of development activities were carried out including the construction of a protective wall around the site, the construction of an iron fence in front, and the lighting of the statue at night. At present, people from all over Sri Lanka visit this statue daily. But the lack of facilities to know the historical details of the statue is a major shortcoming, say, visitors.

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