Moonstone at Pancavasa (Biso Maligawa) බිසෝ මාලිගය – සඳකඩ පහන

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Moonstone at Anuradhapura Biso Maligaya

Moonstone at Anuradhapura Biso Maligaya

This Pancavasa located in the Abayagiri Monastery in Anuradhapura, now commonly known as Biso Maligaya or the queen’s palace for no apparent reason is most famous for the moonstone found in the main flight of stairs on the centre building. This moonstone is considered one of the best and most well-preserved moonstone in this era. This moonstone is believed to be belonging to the 7-8 th Centuries.

A second moonstone with equal artistic quality can be found on an entrance to a building behind the Ratnaprasada.

The outer edge is designed with a ring of flames and below that is a ring filled with 4 types of animals – The elephant, the horse, the lion, and the bull. The next is a circle of a floral pattern (“liyawela”). Next is a line of swans with a twig of flower and a leaf on their mouth. Next is again a floral pattern and at the center is lotus with petals all around the semi-circle on the moonstone

The meanings of this combination of patterns are debated widely. One interpretation is that the out ring of fire represents the never-ending life and the pains associated with it. The four animals represent the four noble truths (“Chathurarya Sathya”) of Buddha. It is said that the swan can separate out milk from a mixture of water and milk. Therefore once a person realizes the four noble truths they can have the true understanding of good and bad. They are capable of filtering out the good just like the swan filters out milk. Once you do that you are capable of attaining the“Nibbana” represented by the lotus.

Another interesting fact is that the bull in the moonstones was apparently dropped in the Polonnaruwa era (see Vatadage in Pollonnaruwa) . Moonstones in this era lack this symbol and sometimes the bull can be found on a higher pedestal on the sides of an entrance. This is thought to be the influence of Hindus. The bull is a sacred animal to the Hindus and trampling of this symbol was probably disrespectful.

Also See

Map of Moonstone at Pancavasa (Biso Maligawa)

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Some points marked by the Google Maps carry wrong names. This location is erroneously identified as Mahasen Maligaya by Google Maps.

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 Moonstone at Pancavasa (Biso Maligawa)

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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