Friday, 7 January 2022

Prachina Tissa Pabbata Viharaya

Prachina Tissa Pabbata Viharaya 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.) Karunaratna, 1980; Manatunga, 1999; Wikramagamage, 2004]. A rock inscription of the period between the 4-5th centuries A.D. that was discovered from the site revealed the ancient name of this monastery "Pajina Tisa Pava" (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 to the architectural style of the Pabbata Vihara. The sacred buildings are found on a terrace bounded by an elephant wall and there are the remains of four shrines at the four corners of the terrace. The octagonal-shaped building found on the southeast corner of the terrace is believed to be the ruins of a Mahayana Stupa (Wikramagamage, 2004).
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 features similar to Prachina Tissa Pabbata monastery.
1) 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.
2) Manatunga, A., 1999. Paranavithanayange puravidya keneem (In Sinhala). Puravidya, Issue 8. ISSN: 1391-3360. p.19
3) 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 27 February 2022
For a complete tourist map follow this link: Lankapradeepa Tourist Map


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