Thursday, September 6, 2018

Naga Pokuna, Mihintale

The Naga Pokuna at Mihintale, Sri Lanka
The Naga Pokuna (lit. the cobra pond) is one of ponds in the ancient Buddhist monastery complex of Mihintale in Anuradhapura District, Sri Lanka.

The cobra head of Naga Pokuna, Mihintale, Sri Lanka
The history of Naga Pokuna is traced back to the time of the arrival of Arhat Mahinda Thera (or Mihindu Thera) in Sri Lanka who brought the Buddhism to island in the 3rd century B.C. The great chronicle Mahawamsa mentions about a pond named Nagacatuska (Nagachathushka) with the information relating to the Arhat Mahinda Thera. The same chronicle later records that King Aggabodhi I (575-608 A.D.). had built a bath at Cetiyagiri (modern Mihintale) which he called Nagasondi and supplied it with a continual stream of water (Wickremasinghe, 1912).

It is believed that these two names: Nagacatuska and Nagasondi, refer the same pond and the pond Nagasondi of King Aggabodhi I is a further development of the natural pond named Nagacatuska.

The pond is about 39 meters in length. A rock curved figure of cobra with five hoods can be seen at a point close to the central of the pond. It is filled by the rain water and supply water to the Sinha Pokuna (the lion pond) and the alms hall.

1) Wikramagamage, C., 2004. Heritage of Rajarata: Major natural, cultural and historic sites: Colombo. Central Bank of Sri Lanka. pp. 168-169.
2) Wickremasinghe, D.M.D.Z., 1912. Epigraphia Zeylanica: Being lithic and other inscription of Ceylon (Vol. I). London. Archaeological survey of Ceylon. p.82.
3) The information board at the site by the Department of Archaeology and the Ministry of National Heritage.

Location Map

This page was last updated on 24 August 2019


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