Loss, Recuperation, and Identity

Skeen/Thuparama Dagaba, Sri Lanka
Thuparama Dagäba, built in the third century B.C. to house the collarbone of the Buddha, is the oldest shrine in Sri Lanka. The carved pillars in front are the remains of the vatadaga (circular colonnaded temple) built to protect the shrine, its images, flower altars, and worshippers. The roof of the vatadaga, a wood construction once decorated with garlands of gold, had long since decayed and disappeared when this photograph was made, leaving only the stone pillars.