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The Gal Vihara is unique in Polonnaruwa: its sculpture at its real best. It's a group of 4 Buddha images located in a place called the Cave of the Spirits of Knowledge. Each image is carved into a large free-standing piece of granite: there's a 7 metres tall image of a standing Buddha, a 14 metres long reclining Buddha, and two smaller ones in two niches. The standing Buddha is supposed to be the best carved of all - and obviously I was taking in most by the reclining Buddha. A total lack of taste - or maybe it was due to the fact that the standing Buddha was surrounded by scaffolding, as it was being restored
To its right, and built around the same time, was a chapel cut into the rocks. Within it is another seated Buddha surrounded by attendants. To the right of the chapel is the oldest Buddha statue at Gal Vihara. It is a standing Buddha in the "blessing posture", with his arms folded and eyes closed. The contour lines of the rock manifested across the sculptured Buddha's delicate features.