Weherabendigala / Kiralagala Archaeological Reserve (වෙහෙරබැඳිගල / කිරලාගල ආරාම සංකීර්ණයේ නටබුන්)

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Kiralagala Archaeological site consists of ruins of an ancient forest monastery belonging to the early Anuradhapura era lying close to Horowpathana on the Medawachchiya – Horowpathana Road. This site was known as Veherabendigala but currently, the name Kiralagala is more commonly used.

The ruins of this Aramaic complex are believed to belong to the 5th – 4th century BC and cover over 60 acres. However due to the recent Muslim invasion of the archaeological site, currently this area is said to shrunk to just 12 acres. The whole area surrounding the site has been taken over by Muslims and converted into paddy fields.

photos by Niroshan Edirisinghe

The extent to which this Kiralagala Aramic Complex had spread in the ancient past can be judged by the ruins of Kulumeemaakada which lies about 4 km off Kiralagala and is believed to be part of this complex in ancient times.

Considering the remoteness of the site, the archaeology department has conserved most of the ruins and is currently well maintained.

The whole Kiralagala complex which has been conserved lies on a rocky plateau and consists of all the features of Pancha Maha Vihara. The site consists of a large artificial pond, a large stupa, a finely laid Bodhigararaya, Image houses,  a Ganthagaraya, monk residencies, meditation paths and a number of other buildings.

Most of the buildings have been constructed at higher elevations with elegant steps leading from ground level. The meditation paths ( sakman Malu) are constructed at ground levels.  But the most prominent feature of this site is the ancient pond called Banda Pokuna made of granite blocks. Built for the use of the bhikkhus, this pond has been completely restored by the archaeology department. With a 150 feet length, 75 feet width and a 28 feet depth,  Banda Pokuna is the 2nd largest artificial pond in the Anuradhapura Kingdom, the largest being the Eth Pokuna of Abayagiriya Monastery at Anuradhapura.

One of the unique features of this site is that despite being a fully-fledged Aramaic Complex, no Buddha statues have been discovered from this site.

photos by Niroshan Edirisinghe

The Kulumiwakada (Kulumeemaakada) lies about 4 km from the Kiralagala Archaeology site on the Medawachchiya road. The only ruin you would find there is a conserved stupa on the left to the main route conserved by the archaeology department. This area is too dominated by Muslims and all the land surrounding this stupa has been converted into paddy fields forever destroying any other ruins which might have existed in the area.

A November 2014 post reported that the archaeology department-appointed caretaker at the Kiralagala vehemently refused to let the site be photographed and the visitors had to call the Anuradhapura Archaeology office to take the cameras into the site. In a separate site, it was reported that the Archaeology department has appointed a Muslim caretaker to protect these Buddhist ruins.

Irrespective of whether the camera issue was on department instructions or the caretaker trying to discourage visitors to the site, be ready to face this issue if you are planning a visit to this site in future.

Also See

Map of Weherabendigala / Kiralagala Archaeological Reserve

ගූගල් සිතියම් පහලින් – ගූගල් සිතියම් පහලින් – ගූගල් සිතියම් විවෘත කිරීමට පහත බොත්තම් භාවිතා කරන්න –

ඉහල සිතියමේ මෙම ස්ථානය පමණක් නොව කිලෝමීටර 20ක් ඇතුලත තවත් වැදගත් ස්ථාන ලකුණු වී ඇත. මේ ස්ථාන බැලීමට සිතියම කුඩා කර බලන්න. වැඩි විස්තර සඳහා අවශ්‍ය ස්ථානය මතට මුසිකය ගෙනයන්න. එසේ නැතිනම් click කරන්න.

ගූගල් සිතියම වෙනත් ස්ථාන වලට චලනය කර ගෙනයාමෙන් එම ප්‍රදේශයේ වැදගත් ස්ථාන බලාගත හැක.

Travel Directions to Ruins of Weherabendigala / Kiralagala Archaeological Reserve

Route from Anuradhapura to Weherabendigala / Kiralagala Archaeological Reserve
Distance : 60 km
Travel time :1.15 hours
Driving directions : see on google map

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