The Headless Buddhas of Medirigiriya #2
Of Medirigiriya’s four image houses, only one still has its statues intact. In the others, every image has been beheaded, though whether this was by treasure hunters or foreign invaders is unclear. The heads of the statues are nowhere to be found; either carried away or smashed to bits in the search for hidden treasure. In front of the statues is a stone receptacle with compartments to hold different forms of offerings. Next to it is a small wooden replica of a stupa or dagaba. Most of the Medirigiriya complex dates to the 7th century, part of the late Anuradhapura period of Sri Lankan history. Shot for my May 2018 cover story, Circles within Circles, for Serendib magazine.