Rankot Vihara Dagoba

Though not the most obvious thing about the Rankot Vihara, this elephant frieze gets pride of place because I simply loved the decorative elephants and how the moisture has leached some fine coatings onto them, contrasted with that rich green of the moss. Ain’t it purrty?

At 54 meters high, this is the largest dagoba at Polonnaruwa and the 4th-largest on the island (of the bigger, I suspect at least one or two are quite modern and not, frankly, terribly interesting, given some things I’ve seen…there’s the occasional element of tack to contemporary Buddhist architecture in SL as I see it, e.g. that glimmer of gold from the enormous golden Buddha that I subjected you to only from the distance, next to the gorgeous and historically important Dambulla caves). It was the first building and compound at Polonnaruwa at which my jaw really started dropping – all the things you’ve already seen caused my jaw to drop even more, but sequentially I saw this first, and despite the heat I was a bit awestruck.

At intervals along the rounded outside of the dagoba, there are “image houses” for sculptures of Buddha and Boddhisatvas. This is one inside, with offerings of flowers. One enters these sacred precincts in bare feet (the rocks were hot!!!!) with hats doffed.

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