Its face resembles someone serenely ensconced in the deepest sleep. Lying on its right side, one hand is happily tucked under a face with a half-smile spread across it. Instead, should you become so enlightened as Buddha, it is the expression you might be wearing just before you slip through into Nirvana. Not much is known about who sculpted this graceful 46 feet long (14 metres) figure out of a piece of granite at the Gal Vihara shrine at Polonnaruwa in Sri Lanka. However, it seems clear from the unudulating lines and the sensitive details such as the dent in the bolster pillow beneath the dying Buddha's head and the intricate symbols on the soles of its feet, that the creator was filled with their own state of grace. Part of a series of four sculptures of Buddha in various states that were housed in the shrine for King Parakramabahu who ruled from 1123 - 1186, The Luxury Travel Bible suspects this king who famously said, "Not even a little water that comes from the rain must flow into the ocean without being made useful to man" was quite aware of a thing or more himself.
Deer Park Hotel. Bordering the Minneriya-Giritale National Park, this is a great base to explore from. Visit Gal Vihara and return to the Angsana hotel spa here to aid supreme serenity.