Giribanda Seya Stupa of Mihintale – මිහින්තලේ ගිරිභණ්ඩ ස්තූපය

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Giribanda Seya Stupa of Mihintale – මිහින්තලේ ගිරිභණ්ඩ ස්තූපය
Giribanda Seya Stupa of Mihintale – මිහින්තලේ ගිරිභණ්ඩ ස්තූපය

Climbing halfway on the massive stone stairs of Mihintale will bring you the access path to the Giribanda Seya Stupa. Passing the pond known as Thimbiri Pokuna will bring you to this stupa and the surrounding ruins on top of a flattened hilltop.

This stupa had been excavated and restored in 1951. It is about 25 meters in circumference and has been restored up to about 8 meters of height. Based on the archeological evidence, this stupa has been dated to 8th century. However the builder is not known.

The most important aspect of this stupa is the discovery of the plundered by rather undamaged relic chamber inside the stupa. Even though all relics were missing, the chamber it self was undamaged with all the walls in-tact. Therefore it has been possible to get a glimpse of how the ancients built and treated the relic chambers of ancient stupas.

The walls of the chamber has been painted with various deities in red back lines. Their hands are clapsed together as worshiping. Some carry lotus flowers in their hands.

At the center lies the representation of Mountain Mahameru. This is a cuboid cut from rock. The three pieces of rock on which the larger rock stands represents the Thrikootakaya (ත්‍රිකූටකය) on which the mountain Mahameru lies. This main rock is divided in to 7 layers to represent the 7 peaks surrounding Mahameru. These are Yugandhara (යුගන්ධර), Eshadhara (ඊශධර), Karawika (කරවික), Sudarshana (සුදර්ශන), Nemindhara (නෙමින්ධර), Vinthaka (වින්තක) and Ashwakarna (අශ්වකර්ණ) peaks. Surroung the main rock, there are 4 flat rocks on the four sides of Mahameru. These reprsent the four islands surrounding the peak. These islands are Jambudweepa (ජම්බුද්වීප) from South. Aparagoyana (අපරගෝයාන) form North, Purwa Videha (පූර්ව විදේහ) from West and Uthurukuru Divayina (උතුරුකුරු දිවයින) from the East.

This whole relic chamber has been removed during the restoration and has been moved to the Archaeological Museum of Anuradhapura for display.

References

  1. දිසානායක, සෙ. (2017). අසිරිමත් මිහින්තලය.
  2. දිසානායක ජේ. බී. (2001). මිහින්තලා උරුමය (රටක මහිම – 13) . එස්. ගොඩගේ සහෝදරයෝ.

Also See

Map of the Giribanda Seya Stupa at Mihintale

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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

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Driving Directions to Giribanda Seya Stupa at Mihintale

Mihintale can be reached through many routes from Colombo. The two main routes are through Puttalam (Puttalama) and through Kurunegala. Traveling from Puttalam you will pass the scenic Wilpattu area. From Kurunegala, there are two main routes to Mihintale. 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 Mihintale (A3)Route 02 from Colombo to Mihintale
Though : Negombo – Chilaw – Puttalam
Distance :231 km
Travel Time : 5.15 hours
Driving Directions : see on Google map
Through : Central Expressway – Badagamuwa – Dambulla
Distance : 223 km
Travel Time : 4.45 hours
Driving Directions : see on Google maps
Route 03 from Colombo to Mihintale Route from Anuradhapura to Mihintale
Though : Ambepussa – Kurunegala – Padeniya – Thambuthegama
Distance : 232 km
Travel Time : 5 hours
Driving Directions : see on Google map
Distance :15 km
Travel Time : 30 minutes
Driving Directions : see on Google map

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