Kaparamula in Abhayagiri Monastery – අභයගිරි මහා විහාරයේ කපාරාමූලය

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Ruins of Kaparamula Pirivena in Abhayagiri Monastery
Ruins of Kaparamula Pirivena in Abhayagiri Monastery
Photograph by : manusha de silva

By the mid Anuradhapura period, Buddhist education was distributed among 8 institutes. Galathurumula (Selantharamula) (ගලතුරුමූල  – සේලන්තරමූල),  and Wilgammula (Sarogamamula) (විල්ගම්මූල – සරෝගාමමූල) were part of Maha Viharaya Aramic Complex. Dakunu Mula (දකුණුමූල) and the Senviradmula (සෙනෙවිරද්මූල) were part of the Jethawanarama Aramic Complex. Uthurumula (උතුරුමූල), Kaparamula (කපාරාමූල), Mahanethpamula (මහනෙත් පාමූල) and Wahadumula (වහඳුමූල) were part of the Abhayagiri Aramaic Complex. Together, the have been called the Ashtamula (අෂ්ටමූල) and is mentioned multiple times in Mahawamsa.

Kaparamula is said to be the oldest Pirivena center of the Abhayagiri Complex. According to the plaque put up by the archaeological department, this pirivena has been specially reserved for the foreign Bhikkus who had come to this international Buddhist center for their studies.

Towards the latter part of the Anuradhapura period, the Abhayagiriya had surpassed the Maha Viharaya in popularity and Uthurumula and Kaparamula had been the two primary Buddhist learning centers. The popularity of these two centers had continued even during the Polonnaruwa era.

According to Mahawamsa, the Great Chronicle of Sri Lanka, the Kaparamula was established during the king Dathopatissa II (659-667) as the Kapuru Mula Pirivena. Mahawansa again records that the king Sena I (833-853) had donated a building to this pirivena when he was the Maha Epano before taking up the throne. King Kashyapa IV (898-914) had gifted two pirivena buildings called Mahakapara and Kudakapara to Pararamula according to the Pujawaliya.

One can assume that that the Kaparamula had been a quite a large pirivena complex by the time of Kashyapa V (914-923) since his rock inscription describes orderly distribution of water to the bhikkus in Kaparamula indicating an orderly administration of this institution. Another inscription notes a image house being donated to Kaparamula by Yasodhara, a daughter of king Vijayabahu I (1070-1110) of Polonnaruwa Kingdom.

Today among the many buildings you will find the ruins of the main residential unit, a Bodhigara ( Bodhi Tree Shrine), twin ponds and the boundary walls.


  • Sarada, 2007, p.p.223-229 – The importance of Mulayatana as education centers in Sri Lanka: until the 13th century A.D. – by Ranasinghe, R.H.I.S.

Also See

Map of Kaparamula in Abhayagiri Monastery

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Driving Directions to Anuradhapura

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

Through : 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

Through : Ambepussa - Kurunegala - Padeniya - Thambuthegama
distance from colombo :213 km
Travel time : 3 hours
Driving directions : see on google map
Through : Katugastota - Matale - Dambulla
distance from Colombo :139 km
Travel time : 2 hours
Driving directions : see on google map

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