Prachina Tissa Pabbata Viharaya

Prachina Tissa Pabbata Viharaya
Prachina Tissa Pabbata Viharaya (Sinhala: ප්‍රාචීන තිස්ස පබ්බත විහාරය) is a ruined Buddhist monastery site situated in Anuradhapura District, Sri Lanka. It is located on the wayside of Anuradhapura New Town to Mihintale near the first sluice of Nuwara Wewa. This site was incorrectly known for a long time as the Palace of Prince Saliya until the renowned archaeologist Senarath Paranavitana identify this site as the ancient Prachina Tissa Pabbata Viharaya (Manatunga, 1999).

As mentioned in the chronicle Mahavamsa, this monastery was built during the reign of King Jetthatissa I [(266-276 A.D.) Fernando, 1990; Karunaratna, 1980; Manatunga, 1999; Wikramagamage, 2004]. A rock inscription of the period between the 4-5th centuries A.D. that was discovered at the site in 1940 revealed the ancient name of this monastery "Pajina Tisapava Vihara" (Fernando, 1990; Manatunga, 1999). The constructions at the site are believed to have been done between the 5th century A.D. (Karunaratna, 1980).

The complex
The monastery complex surrounded by a quadrangular moat has been built in accordance with the architectural style of the Pabbata Vihara. The sacred buildings are found on a raised terrace bounded by an elephant wall and there are the remains of four shrines at the four corners of the terrace. The elephant wall of this site is considered the earliest known example of this kind and it is similar to that of Ruwanweliseya (Fernando, 1990). The octagonal-shaped building found on the southeast corner of the terrace is believed to be the ruins of a Mahayana Stupa (Wikramagamage, 2004). Small one-roomed structures which had been built to serve as dwellings for Buddhist monks are arranged on the lower ground (Fernando, 1990).

In 1945, Senarath Paranavitana discovered three stone carvings in relief of auspicious objects (Astamangala objects) among the remains of the octagonal-shaped buildings (Karunaratna, 1980). The carvings included a chank, a figure of double fish and a figure of an object similar to a stool (Karunaratna, 1980).

Asokaramaya, Vijayarama, Puliyankulama Purvarama, and Toluvila are several other monasteries that have layouts similar to Prachina Tissa Pabbata monastery. However, many architectural features which are of stone at other sites are of brick at this monastery (Fernando, 1990).

Prachina Tissa Pabbata Viharaya
#) extends its gratitude to Lalith Kekulthotuwage for providing the necessary photographs required for this article. All the photos are published here with the permission of the author.

1) Fernando, W.B.M., 1990. History of the Department of Archaeology, Sri Lanka 1930-1950. Wijesekara, N. (Editor in chief). Archaeological Department centenary (1890-1990): Commemorative series: Volume I: History of the Department of Archaeology. Department of Archaeology (Sri Lanka). p.97.
2) Karunaratna, T.B., 1980. The Auspicious Symbols that Adorned the Octagonal Monument in the Premises of the Pacinatissa-Pabbata Vihara at Anuradhapura. Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society Sri Lanka Branch, 25, pp.69-78.
3) Manatunga, A., 1999. Paranavithanayange puravidya keneem (In Sinhala). Puravidya, Issue 8. ISSN: 1391-3360. p.19
4) Wikramagamage, C., 2004. Heritage of Rajarata: Major natural, cultural and historic sites. Colombo. Central Bank of Sri Lanka. p.156.

Location Map
This page was last updated on 21 October 2023

Post a Comment

Cookie Consent
We serve cookies on this site to analyze traffic, remember your preferences, and optimize your experience.
It seems there is something wrong with your internet connection. Please connect to the internet and start browsing again.
AdBlock Detected!
We have detected that you are using adblocking plugin in your browser.
The revenue we earn by the advertisements is used to manage this website, we request you to whitelist our website in your adblocking plugin.
Site is Blocked
Sorry! This site is not available in your country.