Gedi-Ge Ruins at Ancient Anuradhapura (අනුරාධපුර ගෙඩිගේ නටබුන්)

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To the northeast of the royal palace of King Vijayabahu I, lies a set of ruins which are rarely visited by pilgrims. These ruins are accessible through a by-road on the Watawandana Road or Sangamitta Road.

Only some of the ruins in this central palace area have been identified. Maha Pali Alms Hall (one of the refectories of Abhayagiriya Monastery), A ruin identified as the Dalada-Ge (House of the Tooth Relic), Gedi-Ge, an image house with a semi-domical roof and another image house almost identical to Gedi-Ge, simply known as Building “A”. All these 4 buildings lie 50 meters from each other.

The building known as Gedi-Ge is a brick structure more or less close to the image house known as building ‘A’. Gedi-Ge is considered to have been a sanctuary for those of the Mahayana cult who preached Tantric leanings.

Although the history of this structure is not known, the building has been built entirely from bricks and in fact, the above two image houses are also the only known image houses built entirely of brick masonry in Anuradhapura. Only the door and window frame have been built with granite.

There is material evidence of the vaulted roof of both buildings and proof of staircases which led to the upper floors. Some parts of the roof had been visible in the time of H.C.P. Bell, the first British Commissioner of Archaeology in the late 19th century. Both shrines have a square outer shrine and projecting bays on each side and a regular square as the inner sanctum.

Leaving the vestibule out, the image houses are almost identical in size, building ‘A’ is 36×36 feet and Gedige is 34×34 feet. There is also some belief that one or both of these buildings may have been Tooth Relic temples and the building now known as the Temple of Tooth Relic might be part of a palace complex.

References

  1. Bandaranayake, S. (1974) Sinhalese Monastic Architecture: The Vihāras of Anurādhapura. Leiden, Netherlands: E. J. Brill.
  2. Senevirathne, A. (1994) Ancient Anuradhapura: The Monastic City. Colombo: Archaeological Survey Department.

Also See

Map of Gedi-Ge Ruins of Anuradhapura Kingdom

Please click on the button below to load the Dynamic Google Map (ගූගල් සිතියම් පහලින්)
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The map above also shows other places of interest within a approximately 20 km radius of the current site. Click on any of the markers and the info box to take you to information of these sites

Zoom out the map to see more surrounding locations using the mouse scroll wheel or map controls.

Driving Directions to Anuradhapura (Gedi-Ge Ruins )

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

Route 01 from Colombo to AnuradhapuraRoute 02 from Colombo to Anuradhapura
Through : Negombo – Chilaw – Puttalam
Distance from Colombo : 210 km
Travel time : 4.30- 5.00 hours
Driving Directions : see on Google map
Through : Katunayake Expressway – Central Expressway – Kurunegala – Dambulla
Distance from Colombo : 223 km
Travel Time : 4.30- 5.00 hours
Driving Directions : see on Google maps
Route 03 from Colombo to AnuradhapuraRoute from Kandy to Anuradhapura
Through : Katunayake Expressway – Narammala – Wariyapola – Padeniya – Thambuthegama
Distance from Colombo :203 km
Travel Time : 4.30- 5.00 hours
Driving Directions : see on Google map
Through : Katugastota – Matale – Dambulla
Distance from Colombo :136 km
Travel Time : 3.5 hours
Driving Directions : see on Google map
Route from Anuradhapura Railway Station to Gedige Ruins
Distance : 2.7  kilometers
Travel time : 10 minutes
Driving directions : see on google map

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