Among the most iconic rock-cut sculptures of Sri Lanka, the so-called Leper King statue is the smallest one. However, it is richly decorated. The statue is surrounded by local legends. A foreign prince had been ailing from a skin disease, the name of which is "Kustha" (also transcribed "Kushta"). When he came to this place of the Agrabodhi Vihara, he was cured miraculously and therefore carved this beautiful image into the rock. However, though dressed in royal ornate, this statue most probably depicts a Mahayanist saviour, namly the Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara. This can be seen from the small reliefs in the hair crown, which depict the seated Buddha Amithaba just accooding to Mahayana Buddhist iconography. It's nevertheless uncommon, that Amithaba can not only be seen once in the crown. Instead of Avalokiteshvara, the Mahayanist Bodhisattva Samanthabhadra is often assumed to be represented by this statue, as Samthabhadra has healing powers in particular. But the iconography of the statue does not resemble that of Samanthabhadra.
The Leper King statue alias Kustharaja or Kushtaraja statue is situated very close to Sri Lanka's very popular southern beach resort Weligama. Weligama and the nearby Mirissa have developed into surfing spots recently. The breaks are easy here and therefore perfect for beginners who take their first surfing classes. Apart from surfing, Mirissa is most famous for whalewatching.