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Lankathilaka Image House

Standing tall in the ancient citadel of Polonnaruwa, the Lankathilaka Image House is an exemplary monument that displays the elaborate and intricate craftsmanship of the sculptors of old. The complex is built in the typical ‘Gedige’ style, which is inspired by Indian architecture reminiscent of that of the Ellora Caves in India. Its walls are lined with carvings and sculptures of religious figures, along with mythical figures. Of course, the most notable being the standing image of the Lord Buddha. Although destroyed, one can imagine how it would have towered over devotees back in its heyday.

In addition to the statue of Lord Buddha, there are also other unique features of interest, such as the guard stone images that have been immaculately carved from the large pillars at the entrance. Moreover, the stairway leading to the statue is adorned in intricate features. In fact, it is the only place in which an image of Nagini is depicted on the balustrade. The staircase itself is made in such a way that anyone who leaves the complex will never be able to turn their back on the statue of Buddha, as it is considered to be disrespectful in the religion. Such was the cautious planning of the architects of old.