”MAKARA” – The Sri Lankan Dragon

Makara is a prominent figure from the mythical realm of Sri Lankan traditional art. The Makara is widely found as a part of the “Makara Torana”, the arch way of the entry to Buddhist temples and also in “Makaragala”, a stone carved art piece that can be seen on either sides of a staircase of an entry way to a temple.

According to the description of the Rajawaliya (v.192), “The Makara has the front of an elephant, paws of a lion, ears of a boar, body of a fish living in water, having teeth turned inside and eyes of those of hanuman and a nice tail”

Each feature of this majestic creature represents celebrated human qualities in a very subtle way:

  •     The elephant tusks – Dexterity
  •     Paws of a lion – Strength
  •     Body of a fish – Movement
  •     Teeth and Jaws of a crocodile – Demand for respect
  •     Eyes of a Monkey – Vision
  •     Ears of a Boar – Acute hearing
  •     Tail of a Bird/Peacock – Splendid Beauty 

Hidden in the background behind a clash of shapes and color this majestic beast has made the Sri Lankan traditional art it’s home in very subtle ways that not many actually notice it’s presence, therefor faces a great threat of extinction.

I'm Aishwarya Tennekoon @tenaiworkshop , a passionate sculptor and miniaturist based in Sri Lanka and this diorama is a conceptual remake of the Makara according to my perspective, designed and made as a tribute to the traditional mythical character. The diorama depicts a scene which the Makara protecting an ancient Sri Lankan stupa filled with valuable relics of Buddha from the raging enemies. 

It took 27 days to complete this 1/100 scale diorama. The creature along with the stupa has been sculpted using home made cold pressed porcelain because it was hard to find other clay materials locally due to the pandemic situation and the podium(Stone Platform) of the stupa was made of plastic boards. You can watch the process of making this piece if interested: https://youtu.be/8c3z8-0cFAI

Hope you enjoy this majestic creature!

(Designed and sculpted especially for the SWSCA creature sculpting competition)

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IG -  https://www.instagram.com/tenaiworkshop/


  • THIS IS AMAZING 🔥🔥❤️❤️ Love the concept and execution. The details are to DIE FOR. ABSOLUTELY amazing!
  • Ahhh. Refreshing! I like it a lot! 
  • Nice concept and design is very amazing 👏👌
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