Thimbiri Pokuna at Anuradhapura Jethawanaramaya – අනුරාධපුර ජේතවනාරාම භූමියේ තිඹිරි පොකුණ

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Thimbiri Pokuna in Jethawanarama Complex.
Thimbiri Pokuna in Jethawanarama Complex.
photo by Martin Mueller

Timbiri Pokuna (Thimbiri Pond) is considered the largest pond in the Jetavanarama Aramic complex in Anuradhapura. This pond was was first identified Mr. HCP Bell and recorded in the Archaeology report of 1893. However no restoration or archaeological digging has been carried out.

Design and the placement of the pond indicate that it was not only for the supply of water for the monks in the aramic complex but also great care has been taken in design in this pond. For the next hundred years the pond existed as a mud pond with no attention given to it. The first archaeological excavations of on this pond was started in 1995 with the funds from Central cultural fund. This excavation continued for 3 years and ended in 1998.

During this archaeological discovery excavation this point was found to be 99 metres and 32 metres in size and was built with blocks of rock. The have been well smoothened Staircase were web build at the centre of the southern wall as well as on the Western wall. The bottom is not paved and like most other ponds, the water was supplied from natural underground springs. With Malwathu Oya and Halpan Ela flowing around the Jethawanaramaya, groundwater would have been sufficient to fill this pond.

The restoration work of the Thimbiri Pokuna started again in 2001. The pond has again has turned into a mud pond after the first  archaeological excavation. While cleaning the mud layer at the bottom, parts of a Buddha statues were discovered scattered  close to the western side of the pond. It seems to have fallen into the pond and broken into pieces.  The statue was carved out of Dolomite and the salt layers deposited on the statue has somewhat eroded the rock.

The head and the hands of the statue was missing but from the remaining pieces it has been deduced that this belongs to the late Anuradhapura period. The statue shows Andra sculpture design. From the way the elbow is bent it is assumed that this statue was in Abhaya mudra which is most common mudra in standing statues of this era.

The dolamite statue which was discoverd from the bottom of the Thimbiri Pokuna in Jethawanarama Complex.
The dolamite statue which was discoverd from the bottom of the Thimbiri Pokuna in Jethawanarama Complex.


  • තිඹිරි පොකුණෙන් හමුවූ බුදු පිලිමය – මධ්‍යම සංස්කෘතික අරමුදල (2008)

Also See

Map of Thimbiri Pokuna at Jethawanarama 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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