Vessagiriya Aramic Complex at Anuradhapura – වෙස්සගිරිය

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The rear side of the cave complex with drip ledges.

The rear side of the cave complex with drip ledges.

Vessagiriya is located few hundred meters left to the current Isurumuniya on the old Anuradhapura-a-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.

View from the road leading to the complex. You can still climb to the top of this rock where you can see signs of buildings once stood there.

View from the road leading to the complex. You can still climb to the top of this rock whare you can see signs of buildings once stood there.

Remains of 23 caves with drip ledges which the monks used can be seen on two of the rock formations. Remains of many buildings had been found from around the site, among which there were remains of an image house (pilima geya), dagoba and refectory (monk’s dining room). Bricks recovered from the dagoba had Sinhalese characters belonging to the 10th and 11th centuries. Also there is a remains of a rate type of a circular building devoid of any statues or pedestals. Although the purpose of the this building is still a mystery, archaeologists have found seventy rare coins on excavating this building.

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

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

This site has been housed to 500 priests who received ordinance from the great thero Mahinda, who brought Buddhism to the country in 250 BC. This is another site in Anuradhapura which is not visited by most of the pilgrims. Therefore this area still seems unspoilt up to now.


Also See

Map of Vessagiriya and Other Places of Interest

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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.


Traveling Directions to Anuradhapura (Vessagiriya )

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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