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Uttara Mula (Abhayagiriya)

Uttara Mula
Uttara Mula or Uttaramula Parivena (Sinhala: උත්තර මූලය, අභයගිරිය) is a ruined site situated in the Abhayagiriya Monastery complex in Anuradhapura District, Sri Lanka.

This site is the headquarters of Uttara Mula, the name used to identify the most ancient congregation of Buddhist monks of the Abhayagiri Monastery. In ancient times, Uttara Mula monks were the custodians of the sacred Tooth Relic of the Buddha.

Abhayagiriya Monastery as a seat of learning developed independently (Jayasuriya, 2016). By the 7th century, it consisted of four main Mulas (faculties), namely; Uttara Mula, Vahadu Mula, Kapara Mula, and Mahanethpa Mula (Jayasuriya, 2016). Of them, Uttara Mula was the most prominent seat of the monastery (Wikramagamage, 2004).
Uttara Mula is said to have been erected by Manavamma [(684-718 A.D.) Nicholas, 1963]. Kings such as Sena I (833-853 A.D.), Sena II (853-887 A.D.), and Mahinda IV (956-972 A.D.) made additions and repairs to the development of the Mula (Nicholas, 1963).

Tooth Relic of the Buddha
During the Cola period of Anuradhapura (1017-1070 A.D.), the sacred Tooth Relic of the Buddha was protected by the monks of Uttara Mula (Wikramagamage, 2004). After King Vijayabahu I (1055-1110 A.D.) recaptured Anuradhapura from Colas, the monks entrusted the king with the custody of the Tooth Relic (Wikramagamage, 2004). The Velaikkara Inscription mentions Uttara Mula as the chief fane of Abhayagiri Mahavihara and the original depository of the Tooth and Bowl Relics of the Buddha (Nicholas, 1963).

Uttara Mula .
1) Jayasuriya, E., 2016. A guide to the Cultural Triangle of Sri Lanka. Central Cultural Fund. ISBN: 978-955-613-312-7. p.23.
2) Nicholas, C. W., 1963. Historical topography of ancient and medieval Ceylon. Journal of the Ceylon Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society, New Series (Vol VI). Special Number: Colombo. Royal Asiatic Society (Ceylon Branch). p.145. 
3) Wikramagamage, C., 2004. Heritage of Rajarata: Major natural, cultural, and historic sites. Colombo. Central Bank of Sri Lanka. p.100.

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This page was last updated on 2 July 2022

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