Tag: Anuradhapura

Butttala Yatiyallathota Archaeological Reserve – යටියල්ලාතොට පුරාවිද්‍යා ස්ථානය

Ruins of a pond at the Butttala Yatiyallathota Archaeological Reserve

Hidden by jungle off Buttala, Yatiyallathota Archaeological Reserve is a hidden archaeological jewel in the southern part of the country.

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Kiribath Vehera of Ancient Anuradhapura – අනුරාධපුර කිරිබත් වෙහෙර

Jungle where the balance Erabadugaswewa Ruins is lying

Kiribath Vehera is situated in the ancient sacred city of Anuradhapura between the Vijayarama Ruins and the stone bridge over the Malwathu Oya. The remains of this dilapidated stupa partially restored by the archaeology department and rarely visited by the pilgrim is 30 feet in height and the circumference is 425 feet.

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Daladage Ruins at Ancient Anuradhapura – අනුරාධපුර දළදාගේ නටබුන්

Temple of Tooth in Anuradhapura

The ruins of the building known as Daladage is believed to be the Temple of Tooth built after the defeat of Colas by king Mahinda IV (956-972 AC) who was the last great builder in the Anuradhapura era.

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Gedige Ruins at Ancient Anuradhapura – අනුරාධපුර ගෙඩිගේ නටබුන්

Gedige in Anuradhapura

To the north east of royal palace of of king Vijayabahu I, lies Gedige, between some other ruins rarely visited by pilgrims. Although the history of this structure is not known, the building has been built entirely from bricks, a rarity in Anuradhapura.

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Samgamiththa Stupa of Ancient Anuradhapura – අනුරාධපුර සංඝමිත්තා ස්ථුපය

Sangamiththa Stupa

About one hundred thirty meters to the east of Thuparama Dagoba lies a small stupa identified as the Sangamiththa Stupa. It is said in ancient chronicles that the king Uttiya enshrined the ashes of Arhath Sangamitta Theri to the east of the Thuparama stupa. Archaeologists believe that this is the stupa mentioned in the chronicles.

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Mayura Pirivena of Anuradhapura Kingdom – අනුරාධපුර මහා විහාරීය මයුර පිරිවෙණ

Ruins of Mayura Pirivena

Mayura Pirivena in Anuradhapura is one of the primary learning centers belonging to the Maha Viharaya Aramic Complex during the Anuradhapura era. This Pirivena has been built by king Buddhadasa (340-368) according to ancient records.

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Padanagara II of Ancient Anuradhapura – අනුරාධපුර පධානඝරය II

The entrance to the Padanagara No. 2

Padanagara are built on a unique architectural style with a moat surrounding them. Quite often these structures were built as twin structures on a rocky outcrop surrounded by the moat.

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Padanagara I of Ancient Anuradhapura – අනුරාධපුර පධානඝරය I

Entrance to the Padanagaraya I

Padanagara are built on a unique architectural style with a moat surrounding them. Quite often these structures were built as twin structures on a rocky outcrop surrounded by the moat.

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Padalanchana Chethiya of Ancient Anuradhapura – අනුරාධපුර පාදලාඤ්ජන චේතිය

Padalanchana Chethiya

According the Great Chronicle Mahavamsa, Buddha has placed his foot print at the site of Padalanchana Chethiya rising to the air to return to India after his 3rd visit to Sri Lanka.

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Gal Palama (Stone Bridge) over Halpan Ela – Anuradhapura – අනුරාධපුර හාල්පාන් ඇල ගල් පාලම

Gal Palama over Halpan Ela

The road leading to this rather unknown Halpan Ela Gal Palama is located close to the Kuttam Pokuna (Twin Ponds). Traveling 3 kms from Sangamitta Mawatha, you can reach the point where this ancient stone bridge crosses the Halpan Ela.

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Nakha Vehera of Ancient Anuradhapura – අනුරාධපුර නඛා වෙහෙර

Nakha Vehera

Nakha Vehera (Naka Vehera) is one of the 4 square stupas found in Sri Lanka. Lying in the sacred city of Anuradhapura built in the 9-10th centuries, this site is rarely visited by the pilgrims.

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Mahapali Alms Hall of Abayagiriya Monastery – අනුරාධපුර අභයගිරි ආරාමයේ මහාපාලි දාන ශාලාව

The well with steps at the Mahapali Alms Hall in Anuradhapura

Massive granite pillars where the massive Mahapali Alms Hall stood and a rice trough made of granite lies within these ruins covering over 1/4 acres. One of the main attractions is the deep well which would have supplied water to the alms hall.

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Mihintale Sanctuary – මිහින්තලේ අභය භූමිය

Mihintale Sanctuary

Mihintale Sanctuary is the first wildlife sanctuary in the world established by king Devanampiyatissa in the 3rd century BC after meeting the Great Mahinda Thero,

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Wilpattu National Park – විල්පත්තු ජාතික වනෝද්‍යානය

Wilpattu National Park

Size 131,693 hectares Main attractions Leopards, Elephants, spotted Deer, Sambur, Wild Bow, Crocodiles, Water Buffalo, Peacocks and many migratory birds. Situated 180 km from Colombo, and about 40 km from Anuradhapura Wilpattu National park is the largest wild life sanctuary

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Tiruketeeswaram Kovil – Mannar

Tiruketeeswaram Kovil – Mannar

Tiruketeeswaram is an ancient Hindu temple in Manthota, about seven miles north of the Mannar Town. According to legend, it was at this ancient temple that Kethu Bhagavan worshiped Lord Siva. Hence the shrine acquired the name of Tiruketeeswaram. This

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Talaguru Rajamaha Viharaya – තලගුරු රජමහා විහාරය

Talaguru Rajamaha Viharaya

Thalaguru Rajamaha Viharaya was named on memory of Nayake thero who for the first time in the country in the 2nd century Before Christ. (B.C.) This ancient sacred places is situated at Galkulama village of Anuradhapura district in Sri Lanka.

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Thanthirimale Rajamaha Viharaya – තන්තිරිමලේ රජමහා විහාරය

Samadhi Statue Photo by : nade gura photos licensed under : CC BY-SA 3.0

The Thanthirimale Rajamaha Viharaya  is now surrounded by huge boulders and thick forest covers. One could only imagine what the monastery had looked like nearly 2300 years ago but the peace and serenity still prevails. Built in the Third Century BC

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Hatthikuchchi Aramic Complex ( Rajanganaya Ruins) – හත්ථිකුච්ජි

Hatthikuchchi Temple Complex ( Rajanganaya Ruins)

Located in the picturesque landscape covering 300 acres, Hatthikuchchi Aramic complex ( also referred as Hatthikucchi, Hastikuchchi, Hasti Kuchchi) dates back to 3 rd century BC. But this location is most famous as the place that exiled king Sirisangabo offered his own head to a pheasant.

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Handagala Kanda Ancient Cave Temple – හඳගලකන්ද ලෙන් විහාරය

The rocky hill on which the cave temple existed rises to a height of 300 feet

A lesser known place that lay mostly in ruins today is situated in a serene forest-clad area in a village called Ratmalgahawewa 22 miles north-east of Anuradhapura. This sacred site called Handagala cave temple could be reached by proceeding about two miles from Ratmalgahawewa junction on the Kebitigollewa road and continuing westwards for another two miles.

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Kahatagasdigiliya Sri Gonagiri Rajamaha Viharaya – ගෝනගිරි රජමහා විහාරය

A little beyond the town of Kahatagasdigiliya, my destination, is the historic Gonagiri Rajamaha Viharaya which rises majestically against the backdrop of huge rock boulder.

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The Mystic Ruins of Divulwewa – දිවුල්වැව ආරණ්‍යය පුරාවිද්‍යා භූමිය

The Samadi Statue of Divulwewa

On getting closer to the statue one wonders whether you are at Mahamvueuna Uyana in Anuradhapura because the world famous Buddha statue that had moved the hearts and minds of thousands of pilgrims appear before you all of a sudden. But this is not Mahamevuuna Uyana. But this is Divulwewa Monastery of Horowpathana.

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The Nagas in Sinhala sculpture

Relic Shrine in Abayagiri Monastery

Sacred elements (Naga same term as serpent) consorted with the clouds bearing rain. These elements bestow upon the human world all the boons of earthly happiness such as abundance of crops, cattle, prosperity, offspring, health and long life. The following notes aim to examine the way of depicting in sculpture the genii, Naga presiding over the waters.

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Guardstones (Ancient Muragala) – මුරගල

Relic Shrine in Abayagiri Monastery

The guardstone or “muragala” were one of an association of three aspects of sculpture that adorned the entrance to buildings in ancient times, the other two being the moonstone (Sandakada Pahana) and balustrade (Korawak Gala) .

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Korawakgala (Balustrades) – කොරවක්ගල

The mythical Makara (Dragon) on the Balustrade ( Korawak gala)

The “Korawakgala” lies on the sides of the steps leading to the door or the entrance of the building. This is sometimes called the “Makara Gala” (Dragon Stone) as this stone represent an imaginary animal.

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Moonstones adorning the foot of stairs

The moonstone is a semi-circular slab of granite or limestone. This is usually the first in a flight of steps. It is richly designed in concentric (with the same centre) semi-circular bands of carvings of flowers, creepers, birds and animals.

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Moonstone – සඳකඩ පහන

The moonstone is a permanent feature of the buddhist building of all historical periods. This is a semi circular piece of stone which stood at the foot of a flight of steps in most buddhist buildings. Although the moonstone is generally semi circular, Sometimes you can come across square moonstones. It is thought that the moon stones originated as blank square stone and later developed in to a semi circular shape.

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Vessagiriya Aramic Complex at Anuradhapura – වෙස්සගිරිය

Some caves in the complex like the one you see here could have housed over 100 people

Vessagiriya is located few hundred meters left to the current Isurumuniya on the old Anuradhapura-Kurunegala road. This temple complex is located in and around 3 beautiful bolder formations spread across a large area in front of the Tissa Weva. On one these is a remains of a dagaba.

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Thuparamaya of Ancient Anuradhapura – ථුපාරාමය

Thuparama Stupa and the Vatadage

Thuparamaya is the first stupa to be built in the country after the introduction of Buddhism to Sri Lanka. Built in the time of king Devamnampiyatissa (250BC – 210BC) this was a stupa as well as an Aramic complex (monastery). Today ruins of this complex covers nearly 3 ½ acres

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Royal Palace of King Vijayabahu I – විජයබාහු රජ මාලිගය

Royal Palace of King Vijayabahu I

The Royal Palace of King Vijayabahu I we see today is thought to be the temporary palace he constructed in 1055 for the celebrations in Anuradhapura.

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Thapowanaya Monastery – අනුරාධපුර තපෝවනය

ogimage amazinglanka

The Thapowanaya is first mentioned in the reign of Kassapa IV ( 898 -914 AC) it is said that this king built a dwelling there for the Pamsukulika order of monks. Kassapa V (914 -923 AC) built the Deva dwelling in the Tapovana.

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Sri Maha Bodhi – The Journey of the Sacred Bodhi Sapling

Sri Maha Bodhi

We are in the Poson season, a time when thousands of devotees make their annual pilgrimage to Mihintale to remember the day that Arahath Mahinda introduced the Buddha Dhamma to Sri Lanka during the reign of king Devanampiyatissa. The king

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Sri Maha Bodhi – The Most Respected Tree in the World

Sri Maha Bodhi

  BODHI TREE: “A young wife is poison to an old husband”, says a Sanskrit proverb. King Asoka overlooked the gravity of this saying. Chinese records say that Tisyaraksita, the young queen of King Asoka, was proud of her undoubted

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Sri Maha Bodhi (The sacred Bo-Tree) – ශ්‍රී මහා බෝධිය

Sri Maha Bodhi

After bringing Buddhism to Sri Lanka by Mahinda Thero in 250 BC Emperor Asoka in India sent his daughter Theri Sanghamitta to the island with a branch of the Sacred Bodhi obtained from the main stem of the bodhi tree in Bodh Gaya under which Buddha attained enlightenment. The king Tissa received the sapling and planted it at the present site in 249 BC. Taking this information to account today (in 2013) the Sri Maha Bodhi tree is exactly 2263 years old. Thus this tree is the oldest tree in world in the recorded history.

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The Mystery of Mahathupa

Ruwanweli Seya Stupa

The pristine white ‘Mahathupa’ or Ruwanweliseya, enshrining the relics of Lord Buddha, dominates the skyline of Anuradhapura and is unique and special. For, postulates Mrs. Amendra, the ancients had a knowledge of mind-boggling technology – technology known to present generations only recently.

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Ruwanweli Maha Seya – රුවන්වැලි මහා සෑය – 2

Ruwanweli Seya Stupa

Ruwanweli Maha Seya was built by the famous Dutugemunu , the warrior king and the great hero of the Sinhalese people during his reign between 161- 137 BC on a site believed to have been consecrated by Mahinda Mahathera and marked by a pillar inscription by king Devanampiyatissa (250 -210 BC).

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Royal Goldfish Park (Ranmasu Uyana) – රන්මසු උයන

The northern bathing pond. The rock chamber is in the far end.

It is believed that the Prince Saliya, the son of the great hero king Dutugemunu (161-131 BC) met his future bride to be Asokamala at this Royal Pleasure Garden of Anuradhapura (Ranmasu Uyana).

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Mirisawetiya Dagaba – මිරිසවැටිය දාගැබ

Mirisawetiya Dagaba has been built by King Dutugamunu (161-137 BC) and this belongs to Mahavihara Complex. King Dutugamunu is the great king who defeated the Tamil invaders who ruled the country for 30 years and brought the country under one ruler.

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Kaludiya Pokuna of Mihintale – මිහින්තලේ කලුදිය පොකුණ

Kaludiya Pokuna of Mihintale

Kaludiya pokuna, literally translated means the black water pool. It is said that the name evolved due to the sombre reflections of trees and boulders of the neighboring forests and mountains, and is true to its description at most times of the day.

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Sinha Pokuna of Mihintale – මිහින්තලේ සිංහ පොකුණ

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. 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.

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Naga Pokuna of Mihintale – නාග පොකුණ

photo taken on late 1800′s or early 1900′s - from www.imagesofceylon.com

Amongst its serene, tranquil beautiful forest and boulder clad environs we find some of the earliest examples of Sinhalese hydraulic civilization in Mihintale. 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.

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Mihindu Seya of Mihintale Monastery – මිහිඳු මහා සෑය

Mihindu Seya

To the west of the Mahaseya at Mihintale are the remains of a smaller stupa identified as Mihindu Seya, the one which king Uttiya, Devanampiyatissa’s successor built enshrining the relics of the great Sage Mahinda

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Lovamahapaya – The Great Copper Roofed Mansion – ලෝවාමහාපාය

Lovamahapaya stone columns

According to Mahavamsa, the great chronicle of Sri Lanka, Lovamahapaya was a massive nine storied building with a height of 150 ft (47 meters) and each side with a 150 feet (46 meters) length. The building was supported by 40 rows of stone pillars with 40 pillars which totaled 1600 pillars. In each level there were 1000 rooms and 100 windows.

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Jethawanaramaya of Anuradhapura Kingdom – ජේතවන විහාරය

jethavanaramaya

Jethawanaramaya Stupa is the largest stupa in the Sri Lanka. It was originally 400 feet (122 meters) in height and was the third tallest building in the world at that time. Even today as a brick monument, Jethavana still remains the tallest of its kind in the world. Jethavanaramaya was built by King Mahasena (276-303) was completed by his son Sirimeghavanna.

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Isurumuniya Viharaya – ඉසුරුමුණිය විහාරය – 3

Isurumuniya

The village of Isurumuniya stretches along the Kurunegala road from the ancient city of Anuradhapura. Here in this once agrarian community is told the greatest love story in Sri Lankan literature.

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Isurumuniya Viharaya – ඉසුරුමුණිය විහාරය

Isurumuniya

Isurumuniya is most famous for the stone carving of a couple located there. This carved stone was found in the royal pleasure garden and brought here. There are many interpretations for this carving.

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Gal Palama (Stone Bridge) over Malwathu Oya – Anuradhapura – අනුරාධපුර මල්වතු ඔය ගල් පාලම

The Gal Palama over Malwathu Oya (2015)

he road leading to Gal Palama is located close to the Kuttam Pokuna (Twin Ponds). The two Gal Palama’s are laid across Malwathu Oya and Yoda Ela.

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Dakkhina Stupa (Dakshina Stupa) – දක්ෂිණ ස්තුපය

dakkina stupa

Dakkhina Stupa (Dakshina Stupa) is a large brick mound structure , probably an unfinished stupa lying close to sri maha bodhi. Untill recently this site was mistakenly identified as tomb of Elara.

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Uttara Mula of Abayagiri Monastery – අභයගිරිය උත්තර මූලය

Anuradhapura Samadhi Statue

Uttara Mula is the name which identifies the most ancient congregation of bikkus in the Abhayagiri Monastery and their head quarters. In ancient times when the the sacred tooth relic of Buddha was in Abhayagiri, Uttara Mula Bikkus were the custodians of it.

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Third Samadhi Statue and the Asanaghara – අනුරාධපුර තෙවන සමාධි පිලිමය

Third Samadhi Statue and the Asanaghara

This Samadhi Statue along with the the ‘Bodhighara’ (Bo tree Shrine) and the ‘Asanaghara’ (the shrine of the Buddhas Seat) is located close to the Ratnaprasada and belongs to the Abayagiri Aramic Complex. The origin of this statue is unknown.

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Second Samadhi Statue and bodhigara – අනුරාධපුර දෙවන සමාධි පිලිමය

2nd Samadhi at Abayagiri Aramic Complex

This Buddha Statue and the Bodhi-ghara (Bo tree Shrine ) belongs to the Abayagiri Aramic Complex. This site is popularly known as the 2nd Samadhi Statue of Anuradhapura.

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