“This is an iconographic representation of the Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara which is known as Veligama Kushtaraja. One objective of venerating Avalokiteshvara in Sri Lanka was to pray for cure from skin diseases. The 12 feet high relief of Kustarajagala is said to be venerated by sea farmers. It is said that they worshipped praying for blessings seeking protection from various unexpected disasters possible in long voyages as well as for cure from diseases like Leprosy. According to the iconographic style this image could date back to the period betwee then 9th and the 10th centuries.”

National Maritime Museum, Galle (W)


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