Mahapali Alms Hall of Abayagiriya Monastery – මහාපාලී දානශාලාව

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The well with steps at the Mahapali Alms Hall in Anuradhapura

The well with steps at the Mahapali Alms Hall in Anuradhapura
by Alexey Nikeenkov licensed under CC BY-ND 3.0

Anuradhapura kingdom was flourishing from from 4th century BC to beginning of 11th century AD. After the Buddhism was introduced to Sri Lanka in 3rd century BC, this capital became the one of the largest learning centers of Buddhism in the world. Thousands of bikkus lived in Anuradhapura in number of aramic complexes. Providing meals to these thousands of monks was the responsibility of the king and number of Alms Halls belonging to different aramic complexes can be seen scattered all over the sacred city today.

To the north east of royal palace of 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.

The ruins lying in this area are the   Maha Pali Alms Hall (one of the refectories of Abayagiriya Monastery), A ruin identified as the Dalada Ge (House of the Tooth Relic), Gedige, an image house with a semi domical roof) and another image house almost identical to Gedige, simply known as Building “A”. All these 4 buildings lie 50 meters of each other.

Massive granite pillars where a massive building stood and a rice trough made of granite lies within these ruins of Mahapali Alms Hall covering over 1/4 acres. One of the main attractions is the deep well which would have supplied water to the alms hall. Built with granite and bricks, steps are placed around the perimeter of the square well so you can climb down the water.

The Mahapali Hall is believed to be built by king Devanampiyatissa in the 3rd century BC and had been expanded and supported by many other soverings in the Anuradhapura kingdom

Also See

Map of Mahapali Alms Hall of Abayagiriya Monastery

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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.

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Driving Directions to Anuradhapura

Anuradhapura 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 Anuradhapura. 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 Anuradhapura

Route 02 from Colombo to Anuradhapura

Though : Negombo - Chillaw - Puthlam
distance from colombo :213 km
Travel time : 3 hours
Driving directions : see on google map
Through : Ambepussa - Kurunegala - Dambulla
distance from Colombo : 221 km
Travel time : 3.15 hours
Driving Directions : see on google maps

Route 03 from Colombo to Anuradhapura

Route from Kandy to Anuradhapura

Though : Ambepussa - Kurunegala - Padeniya - Thambuthegama
distance from colombo :213 km
Travel time : 3 hours
Driving directions : see on google map
Though : Katugastota - Matale - Dambulla
distance from Colombo :139 km
Travel time : 2 hours
Driving directions : see on google map

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