The Gal Viharaya and the Hussain Sagar Buddha Statue present popular artistic depictions of the legendary Buddha. The Buddha, known also as the "awakened one" or "the enlightened one," represents the central figure of the ancient spiritual philosophy of Buddhism. Due to the religion's popularity, numerous artistic representations of the Buddha are scattered around the globe, though the Gal Viharaya and the Hussain Sagar stand out as a result of their impressive size and intricate attention to detail.
The Gal Viharaya temple is located in Sri Lanka, and it remains a popular attraction for both religious devotees and tourists. The temple was built in the 12th century, and it contains four carvings of the Buddha that are beautifully etched into a large granite cliff. The statues are breathtaking to behold and range in length from 15 to 46 feet.
The Hussain Sagar Buddha Statue stands in the middle of a man-made lake in Hyderabad, India. With a height of 56 feet and a weight of over 320 tons, it represents the largest monolithic statue in the entire country of India. The statue was erected in 1992 by a group of sculptors who fashioned it from a single block of white granite.
Buddhism's roots extend back to around the fourth century BCE, and while it is primarily practiced in Asian countries, both its teachings and artwork have spread throughout the world. As of 2015, there are an estimated 500 million Buddhists, and they account for around 8 percent of the world's total population.