Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara

Weligama, Sri Lanka

The 3m (10ft) tall Bodhisattva is sculpted in bas-relief within a hillside niche. Local legend identifies this figure as a "Leper King" (Kusta Raja; a similar legend is attached to a statue from Angkor, currently on display at the National Museum in Phnom Penh.) Nevertheless, the figure is Avalokiteshvara, as shown by its typical iconography and details of costume, including the seated Buddha in his crown. Signage on-site dates the figure to the 6th century AD; other proposed dates have run as late as the 8th-9th century.

Weligama is located near Matara on Sri Lanka's south coast.