Western Monastery ‘C’ of Ancient Anuradhapura (අනුරාධපුර බටහිර ආරාමය C)

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In the western and northwestern outskirts of the ancient city of Anuradhapura, one can discover a unique category of vihara complexes known by different names such as ‘Outer Circular Road Palaces,’ ‘Western Ruins,’ ‘Western Monasteries,’ ‘Double-platform buildings,’ ‘Tapovana Monasteries,’ and ‘Padhanagara Monasteries.’ What sets these structures apart is their distinctive design, featuring a central composition comprising two segments – a prasada and a malaka – interconnected by a narrow passage.

Padhanaghara monasteries found west of Anuradhapura Ancient City are identified as

Padhanaghara Complexes were used by the meditating monks and are located away from the cities and human settlements. Padhanaghara are built on a unique architectural style with a moat surrounding them. Quite often these structures were built as twin structures on a rocky outcrop surrounded by the moat. Sometimes there are waterways even inside the moat underneath the buildings such as this building complex.

The concealed Western Monastery “C” lies nestled amidst contemporary residences and overgrown shrub jungles in Anuradhapura off Arippu Road. Its secluded location makes it unlikely for any pilgrim to discover or explore. While some restoration efforts have been made in the past to revive parts of the main Padhanaghara complex, a significant portion of the area is currently dominated by shrub jungle, having fallen into disuse.

Little further back this road lies the site identified as Western Monastery “A”.

Plan of the Western Monastery 'C' of Ancient Anuradhapura
Plan of the Western Monastery ‘C’ of Ancient Anuradhapura

References

  • Bandaranayake, S., 1974. Sinhalese Monastic Architecture – The Viharas of Anuradhapura. Leiden: Brill.

Also See

Map of Western Monastery ‘C’ of Ancient Anuradhapura

Please click on the button below to load the Dynamic Google Map (ගූගල් සිතියම් පහලින්)
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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 Anuradhapura (Western Monastery ‘C’)

Colombo to Anuradhapura By Bus

Anuradhapura is easily reached by bus, train or private transport. Air-conditioned and non-air-conditioned buses start at the Colombo Fort Main Bus Station. There are luxury busses which start from various places in Colomb travelling past Anuradhapura, to Vavuniya and Jaffna. However, you need to search the web and book a seat. These luxury buses mostly travel at night reaching their final destination early in the morning.

Colombo to Anuradhapura By Train

5 daily trains are starting from Fort Railway Station to Anuradhapura. Generally, the first train leaves at 9.40 am and the last train at 8.30 pm. Travel time is 4-5 hours depending on the number of stops of the particular train.

Colombo to Anuradhapura By Car or Van

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. There are two main routes to Anuradhapura from Kurunegala. 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
Route from Anuradhapura Railway Station to Western Monastery ‘C’
Distance : 5 kilometers
Travel time : 15 minutes
Driving directions : see on google map

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