Category: Anuradhapura

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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Ransimalakaya at Anuradhapura – අනුරාධපුර රන්සිමාලකය නටබුන්

Ransimalakaya at Anuradhapura

According the brief description on the board by the Department of Archaeology, this building has been used as the meeting hall of the bikkhus of the Maha Viharaya. The body of the Maha Mahinda Thero has been kept here before cremation.

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Silachetiya (Kujjatissa) Stupa at Anuradhapura – අනුරාධපුර සිලාචේතිය (කුජ්ජතිස්ස) පුරාවිද්‍යා නටබුන්

Silachetiya (Kujjatissa) Stupa

The stupa called Silachetiya (Sila Chetiya) is also known as Kujjatissa Stupa since this has been associated with a bikku by the same name who is said to have had miraculous powers.

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Toluvila Ruins at Anuradhapura – අනුරාධපුර තොලුවිල පුරාවිද්‍යා නටබුන්

Steps towards the top of the image house

It has been identified Toluvila as the place where the Great Mahinda Thero took shelter on their way from Chethiya Pabbatha to Maha Viharaya in the 3rd century BC. The Toluvila monastery belongs to the late Anuradhapura period (7-9th centuries).

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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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Niyamgamdora Rajamaja Viharaya and Pattini Devalaya – නියම්ගම්දොර රජමහා විහාරය හා පත්තිනි දේවාලය

Niyamgamdora Pattini Devalaya

Although the origin of the Niyamgamdora Pattini Devalaya is unknown, it is belived that the Devalaya has been built during the Kandyan Era.

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Vijayarama Aramic Complex at Anuradhapura – අනුරාධපුර විජයාරාම පුරාවිද්‍යා නටබුන්

The ruins of the building where the entrnace is adorned with Punkalas (pots of plenty) as the guard stones at Vijayaramaya ruins of Anuradhapura

Vijayarama is an ancient buddhist monastery lying on the outskirts of Anuradhapura close to the ancient stone bridge (Gal Palama). The complex spans 23 acres which has been declared as an archaeological site.

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Sakwala Chakraya or the Stargate of Ranmasu Uyana – සක්වල චක්‍රය

A sketch of the petroglyph

Hidden on a side of a boulder face at the Ran Masu Uyana ( The Royal Goldfish Park) sandwiched between the Tissa Wewa and the Isurumuniya Rock Temple at Anuradhapura, is a unique artifact of  of the Ancient Sri Lanka

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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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Ruwanweli Maha Seya – රුවන්වැලි මහා සෑය

Ruwanweli Seya Stupa during the night

Ruwanweliseya was built by the great king Dutugamunu who reigned from 137BC to119BC. The original stupa has been about 180 feet (55 meters) in height and was renovated by many kings. The stupa is 350 feet (107 meters) in height and 300 feet (92 meters) in diameter today.

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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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Mihintale – The cradle of Buddhism – මිහින්තලාව

Mihintale Mahaseya

In the 3rd century BC, area of Mihintale (mihinthalaya) was a thick jungleand was a hunting ground reserved for the royals. All this changed in 250 BC when the son of the Indian Emperor Asoka, Mahinda Maha Thero arrived at the Mihintale (mihinthalaya) rock to meet king Devamnampiyatissa.

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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 – ජේතවන විහාරය (2)

jethavanaramaya

Quieter and less concentrated ruins of a monastic complex, east of the great Ruwanveliseya ,are found in the Jethawanaramaya monastic complex. Extensive ruins of excavated stone foundations are neatly laid out amongst well-kept lawns, ancient trees and demarcated pathways, almost in picture book perfection, covering an area of some eight acres.

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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 – 2

Isurumuniya

Directly below where we stood were two of Anuradhapuras’ most favored sites. The Isurumuniya Rock Temple said to be quite the loveliest spot in Anuradhapura and the Ran masu uyana or the gold fish park. Both sites possibly quite altered since its origins

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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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Abhayagiri Monastery – අභයගිරි විහාරය

Abayagiri Stupa under restoration in 2008

Abhayagiri Monastery is situated on the ancient city of Anuradhapura and is credited to king Vattagamini Abaya popularly known as king Walagamba ( 103 BC, 89-77 BC). Proof has been found that a Jain temple has existed on this land in the 5th century BC during the rule of King Pandukabaya (437-367 BC).

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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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Samadhi Buddha Statue at Anuradhapura – සමාධි පිලිමය

Anuradhapura Samadhi Statue

Samadhi Statue is considered one of the best sculptures in the Anuradhapura era. It is thought to be done during the 3rd or the 4th century. It is made out of dolomite marble and stands 7 feet 3 inches (2.21 metres) in height.

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Relic Shrine in Abayagiri Monastery – අභයගිරිය විහාරය – ධාතු ගෘහය

The Grand Entrance to the Relic Shrine of Abayagiri Complex

This was a special shrine in Uttara Mula in the Abayagiri Monastery utilized for ritual purposes associated with relics of Buddha. Paying homage to the relics of Buddha was a popular ritual in the Abayagiri Monastery. This building has been recognized as a Relic Shrine from the architectural features.

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Abayagiri Monastery – The Main Refectory – අභයගිරි ප්‍රධාන දාන ශාලාව

Main Refectory of Abayagiri Monastery

Located close to the Uttara Mula this is considered the main refectory of the Abayagiri Monastery. This is a square building with 42.7m on one side. Four stages of construction from early as 1st century BC has been found during the excavation of the site.

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Rathna Prasada (Jewel Palace) of Abhayagiri Monastery – රත්න ප්‍රාසාදය

Monolithic pillars of Ratnaparasada

This is the Uposatha house of the Abhayagiri Vihara Complex built by King Kanitta Tissa (192-194 AD). What Lova Maha Prasada was to Maha Vihara complex, Rathna Prasada is to Abhayagiri. The competition of these two sects of monks can

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Prasada Stupa ( Indikatu Seya) of the Anuradhapura Kingdom – ප්‍රසාද ස්තුපය ( ඉඳිකටු සෑය )

Prasada Stupa

This small stupa lies between the Ratnaprasada and the 3rd Samadhi Statue of Abayagiri Monastery called Indikatu Seya or Prasada Stupa in Anuradhapura. It is built surrounding a small rock and belongs to the Prasada type of Stupa similar to the Satmahal Prasada in Polonnaruwa.

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Moonstone at Mahasen Maligaya (Anuradhapura) – සඳකඩ පහන

Mahasen Maligaya - The Building where the moonstone is located

Unknown to many, this moonstone lies at the entrance of a ruined building just behind the Ratnaprasada in Anuradhapura. This site is seems to be rarely visited without even a visible footpath. The most popular moonstone among the pilgrims and tourists lies on the building called Biso Maligaya. According to a plaque installed by the Department of Archeology, This moonstone is the most exquisite artistic creation of a moonstone found in Sri Lanka according to Prof. Senarath Paranawithana.

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

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.

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Lankaramaya in Anuradhapura Kingdom – ලංකාරාමය

Lankaramaya

The Lankaramaya stupa was built on the 1st century BC by King Vattagamini Abaya (Walagamba). The ancient name of this temple is “Silasobbha Khandaka Cetiya”

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