Abayagiri Monastery – The Main Refectory (අභයගිරි ප්‍රධාන දාන ශාලාව)

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Located close to the Uttara Mula this is considered the main refectory of the Abayagiri  Monastery. This is a square building with 42.7m on one side. Four stages of construction from early as the 1st century BC have been found during the excavation of the site.

The famous Chinese traveler monk Fa-Hien who visited the monastery in the 5th century stated that the monastery housed up to 5,000 monks at that time. All the meals of these monks would have been prepared and served at this location.

The ‘Bath Oruwa’ or the Rice Canoe carved out of stone which served the rice to the monks is 19 meters long. It is estimated that this canoe would hold over 5,000 rice plates. Another smaller stone canoe beside this would have probably been used to serve the curries.

On the courtyard between the Rice Canoe and a center dining area, a sun-dial has been discovered. This has been removed and is now on display in the Abhayagiri Monastery. A replica made out of cement has been kept in place. The original has been preserved at the Abayagiri Museum.

Also See

Map of Main Refectory of Abayagiri Monastery

Please click on the button below to load the Dynamic Google Map (ගූගල් සිතියම් පහලින්)

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

Zoom out the map to see more surrounding locations using the mouse scroll wheel or map controls.

Traveling Directions to Main Refectory of Abayagiri Monastery (Anuradhapura)

Anuradhapura can be reached through many routes from Colombo. The two main routes are through Puttalam (Puttalama) and through Kurunegala. Travelling from Puttalam, you will pass the scenic Wilpattu area. From Kurunegala, there are two main routes to Anuradhapura. 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 AnuradhapuraRoute 02 from Colombo to Anuradhapura
Through : Negombo – Chilaw – Puttalam
Distance from Colombo : 210 km
Travel time : 4.30- 5.00 hours
Driving Directions : see on Google map
Through : Katunayake Expressway – Central Expressway – Kurunegala – Dambulla
Distance from Colombo : 223 km
Travel Time : 4.30- 5.00 hours
Driving Directions : see on Google maps
Route 03 from Colombo to AnuradhapuraRoute from Kandy to Anuradhapura
Through : Katunayake Expressway – Narammala – Wariyapola – Padeniya – Thambuthegama
Distance from Colombo :203 km
Travel Time : 4.30- 5.00 hours
Driving Directions : see on Google map
Through : Katugastota – Matale – Dambulla
Distance from Colombo :136 km
Travel Time : 3.5 hours
Driving Directions : see on Google map

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