Abhayagiriya Museum

Abhayagiriya Museum
Abhayagiriya Museum (Photo credit: Ayoma Wijethunga, Google Street View)

The Abhayagiriya Museum (Sinhala: අභයගිරිය කෞතුකාගාරය), Sri Lanka is one of the Museums Administered by the Central Cultural Fund. It has been established on a plot of land located south of the colossal Abhayagiriya Stupa.


The museum, which was designed in the ancient Panchavasa monastery plan was constructed by the Central Cultural Fund with the monetary support of China. It was declared open to the public on 13 June 1992.

Initially, the complex was known as the "Mahatissa-Faxian Cultural Complex" to commemorate Kupikkala Mahatissa, the first incumbent of the Abhayagiri monastery and Fa-Xian, the Chinese Buddhist monk who studied Buddhism at the Abhayagiri Viharaya from 411 to 412 AD. However, the name was changed later (Rambukwella, 2014).


The museum preserves a collection of items discovered at the Abhayagiriya monastery site and its vicinity (Rambukwella, 2014). Artefacts include Buddha and Bodhisattva statues, gold & silver items, stone, iron, clay, ceramic & limestone objects, beads, animal statues, relic cambers, statues of gods, coin moulds and coins.


1) Rambukwella, M.W.C.N.K., 2014. Heritage representation in culturally diverse societies: a case study of the Colombo National Museum in Sri Lanka (Doctoral dissertation, School of Museum Studies). p.420.

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This page was last updated on 21 November 2023
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