Wednesday, December 25, 2019

Isinbessagala Viharaya

The ancient Stupa at Isinbessagala
Purana Ruwangiri Raja Maha Viharaya, popularly known as Isinbessagala Viharaya is a Buddhsit temple situated in Anuradhapura District, Sri Lanka.

Folklore
According to local people, this temple was built by King Devanampiyatissa (307-267 B.C.), after the introduction of Buddhism to Sri Lanka by Arhant Mahinda Thera. It is said that Arhant Mahinda Thera who arrived in the country with other monks have visited this site before going to Mihintale rock at Anuradhapura. The name "Isinbessagala" can be roughly translated as "the rock on which the sages descended".

Ruins
Some of the archaeological ruins found here include the ancient Stupa at the foot of the rock, the Siri Pathul Gala (the Buddha's footprint) and the slab with a cobra figure. Before the construction of Buddha statues, people made various objects of worship to represent the Buddha such as Sri Pathul Gala. Therefore, the Sri Pathul Gala that was found at this site gives an indication for the antiquity of this temple. This Siri Pathul Gala is presently placed at the top of the rock near to the Stupa.

Isinbessagala rock inscription
A rock inscription belonging to the early Anuradhapura Period has been discovered from the site. It records about a grant of income that derived from a tank to this temple by two persons. According to the inscription, Asiyakara Viharaya was the old name that used to identify this temple. The name Asiyakara Viharaya roughly means "the temple where sages lived".

The Siri Pathul Gala The Stupa at the top of the rock The slab with the cobra figure A pond
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Location Map

This page was last updated on 19 March 2020
For a complete tourist map follow this link: Lankapradeepa Tourist Map

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