Buduruvagala means "The rock of Buddhist Sculptures". The name Buduruwagala is derived from the words for Buddha (Budu), images (ruva) and stone (gala). Most visitors, especially Buddhists, who attend the temple will make sure to visit Buduruvagala.The beautiful, 1000-year-old, rock-cut Buddha figures of Buduruwagala are the region's biggest attraction. The gigantic standing Buddha (at 15m, it is the tallest on the island) here still bears traces of its original stuccoed robe, and a long streak of orange suggests it was once brightly painted. It's surrounded by smaller carved figures. This remote site is located 9km south of Wellawaya, accessed by a scenic side road.
Sri Lanka is largely considered as place for Therarawada Buddhism tradition. All most all the historical temples in Sri Lanka belonging to Therawada tradition. But there are few exceptions, which are belonging to Mahayana legacy. Buduruwagala is one of them.
Worshiping for "Bodhi Sathva" figures is one of the key concept seen in Mahayana Buddhism. There are several such statues can be find in Buduruwagala site.
Buduruwagala statues are believed to be belonging to 10th century. The main Buddha statue at the middle is considered as a statue of "Deepankara Buddha". This statue is 51 feet high. Still you can see some remaining of shaded colors on these sculptures. So that proved that these statues are brightly colored in historical days
The Central Figures
The central of the three figures to the Buddha’s right is thought to be the Mahayana Buddhist figure Avalokiteśvara (the bodhisattva of compassion). To the left of this white-painted figure is a female figure thought to be his consort, Tara. Local legend says the third figure represents Prince Sudhana.
The mustard oil lamp
On the same rock where the sculptures are carved, there is a carved shape of about 3 feet (0.91 m) wide and 4 feet (1.2 m) heigh. It is of the shape of a flame. The inside wall of this carved shape is always wet of an oil that smells very much like Mustard oil. This oil comes to the carved shape with no explainable source or reason.
The Other Figures
Of the three figures on the Buddha’s left-hand side, the crowned figure at the centre of the group is thought to be Maitreya, the future Buddha. To his left stands Vajrapani, who holds a vajra (an hourglass-shaped thunderbolt symbol) – an unusual example of the Tantric side of Buddhism in Sri Lanka. The figure to the right may be either Vishnu or Sahampath Brahma. Several of the figures hold up their right hands with two fingers bent down to the palm – a beckoning gesture.
The name Buduruwagala is derived from the words for Buddha (Budu), images (ruva) and stone (gala). The figures are thought to date from around the 10th century and belong to the Mahayana Buddhist school, which enjoyed a brief heyday in Sri Lanka during this time.
An ancient stupa has recently been uncovered halfway along the road from the junction to the carvings.