Abhayagiri vihāra, Anuradhapura

Through the town of Anuradhapura we headed to Abhayagiri Stupa.

Views of Anuradhapura

Views of Anuradhapura

Visited the Kuttam Pokuna (Twin Ponds) first.

Abhayagiri Area Map

Abhayagiri Area Map

Kuttam Pokuna (Twin Ponds)

Kuttam Pokuna (Twin Ponds)

Kuttam Pokuna or the twin ponds are another hydrologic engineering marvels of the ancient Sri Lanka. These two ponds belong to the Abayagiri aramic complex and probably been used by the monks for bathing. The origins of these ponds are not known but it is thought to have been built during the reign of King Aggabodhi I (575-608).

Kapara mula

Kapara mula

By the late Anuradhpura period (5th century A.D.) Abhayagiriya was under the administration of four Mulas or faculties. Kapara Mula was specially set aside for the residing of foreign Bhikkhus and the inscriptions found here are therefore written in Sanskrit. The International language of the region of the time.

Samadhi Buddha Statue

Samadhi Buddha Statue

Both sides of the Samadhi Buddha Statue

Both sides of the Samadhi Buddha Statue

Samadhi Statue is considered one of the best sculptures in the Anuradhapura era. It is thought to be done during the 3rd or the 4th centaury. It is made out of dolomite marble and stands 2.21 metres in height. This statue was found in the present location in 1886 fallen to the ground with damages to the nose. It was then erected and the nose was reconstructed. In 1914, it was found damaged by treasure hunters and re constructed again.

Abhayagiri Vihāra was a major monastery site of Theravada and Mahayana Buddhism. It is one of the most extensive ruins in the world and one of the most sacred Buddhist pilgrimage cities in the country.

The Abayagiri Dagoba in Anuradhapura

The Abayagiri Dagoba in Anuradhapura

It was in 103 B.C., King Valagamba (Vattagamani Abhaya) founded this large monastery Abhayagiriya and gave it to Mahathissa Thera who had protected the king when in adversity.

Abhayagiri Stupa

Abhayagiri Stupa

Abhayagiriya Stupa is treated as the second highest dagoba in Sri Lanka.

Sakyamuni image in front of Abhayagiriya Stupa

Sakyamuni image in front of Abhayagiriya StupaI

I think the Buddha is really good-looking, and write a haiku, “Contemplating buddha, handsome guy in the summer grove.” This haiku is not good.

Really small statuettes next to him.

Really small statuettes next to him.

King Mahasena’s Palace; Mahasena was a king of Sri Lanka who ruled the country from 277 to 304 AD.

King Mahasena’s Palace Sri lanka

King Mahasena’s Palace Sri lanka

King Mahasena ruled Anuradhapura Kingdom and built 16 tanks including great Minneriya tank to full fill the irrigation needs of Anuradhapura peasantries.

Mahasena Palace

Mahasena Palace

Another great construction of King Mahasena is Jetavana Stupa. The monstry complex was built in 3rd century.

stone sculptures of Mahasena Palace

Unique stone sculptures of Mahasena Palace

Even today he is called as the Minneriya deviyo (God of minneriya) due to the service done for the Anuradhapura kingdom.

Moonstone of Mahasena’s Palace

Famous Moonstone of Mahasena’s Palace

Sandakada pahana ( Moon-stone) is a unique feature of the Sinhalese architecture of ancient Sri Lanka. It is an elaborately carved semi-circular stone slab, usually placed at the bottom of staircases and entrances. It expresses the circle of  transmigration (samsara), all things being in flux through the endless circle of birth, death and rebirth.

Elephant Pond (Eth pokuna) is a pond situated close to Lankaramaya. It is 159 meters in length 52.7 meters across and 9.5 meters in depth with the holding capacity of 75,000 cubic meters of water.

Elephant Pond

Elephant Pond

It is not a pool for the elephants, it’s a water supply and irrigation for people.

Next, Lankarama stupa was built by King Valagamba, in an ancient place at Galhebakada in the old kingdom of Anuradhapura. Nothing is known about the ancient form of the stupa, and later this was renovated.

Lankaramaya Temple

Lankaramaya Temple

The ruins show that there are rows of stone pillars and it is no doubt that there has been a house built encircling the stupa to cover it

Lankaramaya Temple

Lankaramaya Temple

The round courtyard of the stupa seems to be 3 m above the ground. The diameter of the stupa is 14 m. The courtyard is circular in shape and the diameter is 406 m.

After Lankaramaya Temple sightseeing, we left for the booked hotel.

Walking through this quiet area.

Walking through this quiet area.

Flora and fauna in this region

Flora and fauna in this region

 

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