Temple key with makara handle, Gadaladeniya, Sri Lanka
 
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Temple key with makara handle, Gadaladeniya

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Also found on gateways and door-handles, the makara is a symbol of protection in Sri Lankan mythology. It is one of the legendary multispecies beasts, with the trunk of an elephant, the body of a fish, the feet of a lion, the ears of a hog, the teeth of a monkey and the tail of a swan. This enormous key is for the entrance to the Gadaladeniya Temple near Kandy, and is looked after by the monks from a nearby monastary.
 
 
 
 
     
     
     

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TOM ALLWOOD