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Located in Anuradhapura, one of the ancient capitals of Sri Lanka, this rock temple, dating from the reign of Devanampiya Tissa (247-207 BC), has some very fine carvings. One or two of these (including one of elephants playfully splashing water) remain in their original place on the rock face beside a square pool fed from the Tissa Wewa, but most of them have been moved into a small museum within the temple.
Best known of the sculptures is the 'lovers', which dates from around the 5th century AD and is built in the artistic style of the Indian Gupta dynasty of the 4th and 5th centuries. It was probably brought here from elsewhere, since it was carved into a separate slab. Popular legend holds that it shows Prince Saliya and Asokamala.
One bas-relief shows a palace scene said to be of Dutthagamini, with Saliya and Asokamala flanking him, and a third figure, possibly a servant, behind them. There is also a fine sculpture showing a man and the head of a horse. The image house south of the pond has a reclining Buddha cut from the rock

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Additional Photos by Attila Szili (atus) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2156 W: 208 N: 4537] (15856)
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