Ancient Dalada Maligawa Ruins at Anuradhapura (අනුරාධපුර දළදාගේ නටබුන්)

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To the northeast of the Royal Palace 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.

Only some of the ruins in this central palace area have been identified. Maha Pali Alms Hall (one of the refectories of Abhayagiriya Monastery), A ruin identified as the Dalada-Ge (House of the Tooth Relic), Gedi-Ge, an image house with a semi-domical roof) and another image house almost identical to Gedi-Ge, simply known as Building “A”. All these 4 buildings lie 50 meters from each other.

The ruins of the building known as Dalada Maligawa (Dalada-Ge) are believed to be the Temple of Tooth built after the defeat of Colas by King Mahinda IV (956-972 CE) who was the last great builder in the Anuradhapura era.

The identification of the Tooth Relic Temple or Dalada Maligawa (Dalada-Ge) in Anuradhapura was subject to much debate. Today, a building close to the Mahapali Alms Hall has been identified as the Dalada-Ge. An inscription found near a circular pond has aided in the identification of the site. Scholars identified the inscription to belong to the reign of King Mahinda IV (956-972 CE).

The inscription discovered at the site lays down regulations for the administration of certain villages and lands and stipulates what percentage of the income from these should be set apart for the maintenance of the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic.

The interpretation of the slab inscription which identified the Dalada Maligawa (Dalada-Ge) built by King Mahinda IV (956-972 CE) has been questioned if this building is the Dalada-Ge or if this is the entrance to the palace of Mahinda IV and whether the tooth relic has been worshipped at the nearby Gedige or the other shrine room close by is being raised.

The remains of the Temple of Tooth Relic or the Dalada-Ge stand within a quadrangular enclosure, 200×214 feet. The monument inside consists of a large edifice with wide bays on 3 of the 4 sides and 2 smaller subsidiary buildings on the northwest and northeast out of which one has almost disappeared. The main entrance to the quadrangular enclosure lies on the centre of its northern side and the inscription which finally pinpointed the location of this Dalada-Ge as described in the ancient texts stands near this entrance.

References

  1. Bandaranayake, S. (1974) Sinhalese Monastic Architecture: The Vihāras of Anurādhapura. Leiden, Netherlands: E. J. Brill.
  2. Senevirathne, A. (1994) Ancient Anuradhapura: The Monastic City. Colombo: Archaeological Survey Department.

Also See

Map of Dalada Maligawa (Dalada-Ge) Ruins

Please click on the button below to load the Dynamic Google Map (ගූගල් සිතියම් පහලින්)
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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.

Driving Directions to Anuradhapura (Dalada-Ge Ruins)

Colombo to Anuradhapura By Bus

Anuradhapura is easily reached by bus, train or private transport. Air-conditioned and non-air-conditioned buses start at the Colombo Fort Main Bus Station. There are luxury busses which start from various places in Colomb travelling past Anuradhapura, to Vavuniya and Jaffna. However, you need to search the web and book a seat. These luxury buses mostly travel at night reaching their final destination early in the morning.

Colombo to Anuradhapura By Train

5 daily trains are starting from Fort Railway Station to Anuradhapura. Generally, the first train leaves at 9.40 am and the last train at 8.30 pm. Travel time is 4-5 hours depending on the number of stops of the particular train.

Colombo to Anuradhapura By Car or Van

Anuradhapura can be reached through many routes from Colombo. The two main routes are through Puttalam (Puttalama) and through Kurunegala. Travelling from Puttalam, you will pass the scenic Wilpattu area. There are two main routes to Anuradhapura from Kurunegala. The most common route is through Dambulla. The other route is through Galgamuwa. Out of all the routes, the most commonly used is the Kurunegala-Dambulla route (Route 2).

Route 01 from Colombo to AnuradhapuraRoute 02 from Colombo to Anuradhapura
Through : Negombo – Chilaw – Puttalam
Distance from Colombo : 210 km
Travel time : 4.30- 5.00 hours
Driving Directions : see on Google map
Through : Katunayake Expressway – Central Expressway – Kurunegala – Dambulla
Distance from Colombo : 223 km
Travel Time : 4.30- 5.00 hours
Driving Directions : see on Google maps
Route 03 from Colombo to AnuradhapuraRoute from Kandy to Anuradhapura
Through : Katunayake Expressway – Narammala – Wariyapola – Padeniya – Thambuthegama
Distance from Colombo :203 km
Travel Time : 4.30- 5.00 hours
Driving Directions : see on Google map
Through : Katugastota – Matale – Dambulla
Distance from Colombo :136 km
Travel Time : 3.5 hours
Driving Directions : see on Google map
Route from Anuradhapura Railway Station to Dalada Maligawa (Dalada-Ge)
Distance : 2.7  kilometers
Travel time : 10 minutes
Driving directions : see on Google map

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