The main rooms contain a reclining and a sitting Buddha. Both are about 30 feet high and quite impressive in their own right, perched on shoulder high platforms and surrounded by dozens of smaller (and lesser) statues all garishly painted. But round the back and underneath the huge 30 metre high seated Buddha lies a fabulously kitsch chamber of Buddhist horrors. The large room and underground tunnel is packed full of statues and cartoons depicting the punishments you are likely to get if you sin.
All possible sins are described in the illustrations - with the relevant punishment drawn in striking clarity underneath. Some are illustrated in the form of gruesome life-size statues. Most involve some type of extreme pain: stabbing, flaying, cutting or just burning on a fire. Though the explanations are in Sinhalese (and therefore lost on me), it's obvious that even the most simple misdemeanour requires the full force of the law. Even looking at another woman, married or not, seems to warrant losing a limb (with no anaesthetic of course) at the very least. It's enough to give kids nightmares!
|Probably being punished for uttering non-Buddhist comments. |
Hopefully this fate befalls politicians.
Seems like an apt punishment for telling porkies...
|The front part of Wewurukannala temple is almost normal, with a range if brightly painted Buddhist statues and some nice murals in the background.|
|A reclining Buddha in the same hall with quite a beautiful mural immediately behind.|
|Another statue detail of a male character who is not Sinhalese but probably a trader.|
|Another demonic close-up...|
|This is a gruesome penalty; being sawn in half with a hand-operated bow saw - and it looks so easy!|