Isurumuniya Vihara, Anuradhapura

Isurumuniya is a Buddhist temple situated near to the Tisawewa (Tisa tank). There are four carvings of special interest in this Vihara (Buddhist monastery). They are the Isurumuniya Lovers, Elephant Pond and the Royal Family.

Going to Isurumuniya Vihara from the restaurant, the temple comes into view.

Going to Isurumuniya Vihara from the restaurant, the temple comes into view.

The gate of Isurumuniya Vihara

The gate of Isurumuniya Vihara

Isurumuniya Vihara Directory

Isurumuniya Vihara Directory

Arrived at the Isurumuniya Vihara

Arrived at the Isurumuniya Vihara

The temple was built by King Devanampiya Tissa who ruled in the ancient Sri Lankan capital of Anuradhapura. After 500 children of high-caste were ordained, Isurumuniya was built for them to reside.

Isurumuniya temple front view

Isurumuniya temple front view

Unique guard stone relief, put at the edge of stone stairway.

Unique guard stone relief, put at the edge of stone stairway.

The sculpture of the elephant that is bathing on the rock of the reservoir.

Elephant pond, the sculpture of the elephant that is bathing on the rock of the reservoir.

King Kasyapa I (473-491 AD) renovated this viharaya and named it as “Boupulvan, Kasubgiri Radmaha Vehera”. This name is derived from names of his 2 daughters and his name.

Altar of Isurumuniya Vihara

Altar of Isurumuniya Vihara

Going in  the main hall of the temple.

Going in the main hall of the temple.

There is a viharaya connected to a cave and above is a cliff. A small stupa is built on it. It can be seen that the constructional work of this stupa belong to the present period.

Inside of the main hall of Buddhist temple of Isurumuniya Vihara; Reclining Buddha representing Buddha lying down or Buddha immediately after his death, and the holy teachings of Shakamuni Buddha.

Inside of the main hall of Buddhist temple of Isurumuniya Vihara; Reclining Buddha representing Buddha lying down or Buddha immediately after his death, and the holy teachings of Shakamuni Buddha.

Treasure room of Isurumuniya Vihara

Treasure room of Isurumuniya Vihara

Treasure room of Isurumuniya Vihara

Inside of the treasure room, Isurumuniya Vihara

Exhibition of Isurumuniya Vihara

King's Family

King’s Family

The Royal Family carving is carved on a Granite plate. There are five human figures carved on this plate. The human figure in the center is King Dutugamunu, who has a tall crown on his head.

Lover of Isurumuniya, King Dutugemunu's son Saliya and the maiden Asokamala, whom he loved.

Lovers of Isurumuniya, King Dutugemunu’s son Saliya and the the low caste maiden Asokamala, whom he loved.

6th Century Gupta style carving. The woman, seated on the man’s lap, lifts a warning finger, probably as a manifestation of her coyness; but the man carries on regardless. It’s known that he gave up the throne for her. (Sometimes hear the story to give up the throne for a favorite woman lately.)

Kuwera Sankapadma, from the Kelaniya Royal Temple

Kuwera Sankapadma, from the Kelaniya Royal Temple

Other exhibits; Throne of the stone. The image of the water nymph "Apsara" Indian mythology. Image of the graceful figure woman the throne. Figure of plump woman.

Other exhibits; Throne of the stone. The image of the water nymph “Apsara” Indian mythology. Image of the graceful figure woman. Figure of plump woman.

After the museum, I climbed on the back side of the rocky temple, Isurumuniya Vihara.

Climbing up from here.

Climbing up from here.

Isurumuniya is said to be known as "Rock Temple".

Isurumuniya is said to be known as “Rock Temple”.

The precincts, looked down from the top of the rocky hill.

The precincts, looked down from the top of the rocky hill.

At the precincts of the Isurumuniya Vihara, the local kids learn their history. "Good-bye have a nice trip!"

At the precincts of the Isurumuniya Vihara, the local kids learn their history. “Good-bye have a nice trip!”

Flowers found in the yard of Isurumuniya Vihara

Flowers found in the yard of Isurumuniya Vihara

 

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