Uttimaduwa Asanagharaya – උත්තිමඩුව ආසනඝරය
The Bodhighara, Chethiyaghara and Asanaghara are considered by scholars to be the three oldest Buddhist architectural elements in Sri Lanka. Of these, the Chethyaighara also called Vatadage and the Bodhighara are mentioned in most ancient Buddhist literature but the sources do not mention the Asanagara in detail. But there are some references to this in the ancient Attakathas and in the ancient chronicles such as the Mahavamsa and the Deepavamsa.
Archaeologically, the Asana seems to have become popular at the same time the carvings of the sacred footprint (siripathulgala) became popular as a symbol of the Buddha or shortly thereafter. Mr. Gunapala Senadheera (Buddhist Symbolism and Wish Fulfillment) states that the use of seats dates back to the 3rd century BC to the 9th century. With the advent of the creation of Buddha statues in Sri Lanka, the use of symbols to commemorate the Buddha had declined.
There are number of ruins of Asanaghara has been found from various parts of Sri Lanka. Some of the more popular Asanaghara are located in Pulukunawa, Katuwannawa, Halmillawetiya, Uttimaduwa, Ganewewa and Debarawewa Yatala Vehera sites. In addition, Asana and Asanaghara’s have been discovered at Weeraketiya Naigala Rajamaha Viharaya (9 feet 8 inches long and 4 feet 4 inches wide) in Hambantota district, Sigiriya Mahanaga Pabbatharamaya, at Pihimbiyagollewa (8 feet long and 3 feet 10 inches wide) and Veheragala (11 feet 8 inches long and 4 feet 4 inches wide) in the Eastern province, Kokebe (11 feet 5 inches long and 5 feet wide) in Anuradhapura district, Periyankulama Elupothana in Vavuniya District, Thantirimale (9 feet 9 inches long and 4 feet wide), Seruvila, Manik Vatadage, and Rajanganaya Hatthikuchchi Aramic Complex.
Uttimaduwa Asanaghara is located in Uttimaduwa Village in Anuradhapura District. This location was first explored in 1962. The stone Asana was measured to be 11 feet 8 inches in length 5 feet wide and about 1 foot thick. Three sides of the slab has been decorated with a strip of carved beading. As in other sites, this has been placed on some stone pillars few feet tall. Based on the floor plan it is believed that the Asanaghara has been rectangular.
- ඇම්. ජී. රත්නපාල, 1997. වජ්රාසනය. සංකෘතික පුරාණය, 2(8), pp.31-38.
Map of Kalagam Vehera Ruins in Kebithigollewa
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Travel Directions to Uttimaduwa Asanagharaya
|Route from Anuradhapura to Uttimaduwa Asanagharaya|
|Through : Galkulama|
Distance : 25 km
Travel time : 30 mins
Driving directions : see on google map