Sinha Pokuna of Mihintale – මිහින්තලේ සිංහ පොකුණ

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– Naga pokuna, Sinha Pokuna and Kaludiya Pokuna : Ponds of Ethereal Beauty –

Sinha Pokuna of Mihintale
Sinha Pokuna of Mihintale

Amongst its serene, tranquil beautiful forest and bolder clad environs we find some of the earliest examples of Sinhalese hydraulic civilization in Mihintale. The monastic establishment in fact brought about an ideal motive for the development of an impressive network of irrigation channels with the use of both natural and artificial ponds and waterways.

Out of the many ponds and waterways that have graced this area three ponds and bathing places can be identified even today; Naga pokuna, Sinha pokuna and Kaludiya pokuna.

They are no more the life line of the community of monks that may have depended on them for their daily chores. Yet today they have more of a historic value. It stands witness to our forefathers’ skills of hydraulic engineering blended with landscaping and the fine art of sculpture.

Sinha Pokuna (Lion Pond)

though it is called a pond, it is more a water rail. It is an open air bath which was probably used by the monks who were living in the caves of the neighborhood.

It is called a pond because of the water tank above the figure of the standing lion from whose mouth the water comes out. Half of it is cut out of the natural rock and the other half is constructed of monolithic blocks to form a square pond.

The two meter high raging lion has been classed as one of the best animal carvings of ancient Lanka.

The rampant lion as it has been described stands as part of an ornamental bathing spout. The pond appropriately named Sinha pokuna, is situated under shady trees on one of the middle terraces of Mihintale. And lets not forget the sculptures in the form of a paneling on the tank. Here lively scenes of dancers, musicians, elephants and some adorable looking lions can be seen. .

The water to this open air bath is from a channel from the Naga pokuna which is situated above it on a much higher elevation. The hydraulics of this system characterized the technological advances of ancient Lanka.

by Kishanie S. Fernando
Daily Mirror

Also See

Map of Sinha Pokuna of Mihintale

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Driving Directions to Mihintale

Mihinthalawa can be reached through many routes from Colombo. The two main routes are through Puttlam (Puttalama) and though Kurunegala. Traveling from Puttlam you will pass scenic Wilpattu area. the From Kurunegala there are two main routes to Mihintale. The most common route is through Dambulla. The other route is though Galgamuwa. Out of all the routes, the commonly used is the Kurunegala – Dambulla route (Route 2).

Route 01 from Colombo to Mihintale (A3) Route 02 from Colombo to Mihintale
Though : Negambo – Chillaw – Puthlam
Distance from colombo :211 km
Travel time : 3.5 hours
Driving directions : see on google map
Through : Ambepussa – Kurunegala – Dambulla
distance from Colombo : 213 km
Travel time : 3.5 hours
Driving Directions : see on google maps
Route 03 from Colombo to Mihintale

Route from Anuradhapura to Mihintale

Though : Ambepussa – Kurunegala – Padeniya – Thambuthegama
distance from Colombo :220 km
Travel time : 3.45 hours
Driving directions : see on google map
distance from Anuradhapura :15 km
Travel time : 40 minutes
Driving directions : see on google map

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