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Home > Heritage > Anuradhapura > Vessagiriya


(originally Issara Samanarama or Isurumuniya)

View from the road leading to the complex. You can still climb to the top of this rock whare you can see signs of buildings once stood there.

The rear side of the cave complex with drip ledges.

Some caves in the complex like the one you see here could have housed over 100 people

Vessagiriya is located few hundred meters left to the current Isurumuniya on the old Anuradhapura-a-Kurunegala road. This temple complex is located in and around 3 beautiful bolder formations spread across a large area in front of the Tissa Weva. On one these is a remains of a dagaba.

Remains of 23 caves with drip ledges which the monks used can be seen on two of the rock formations. Remains of many buildings had been found from around the site, among which there were remains of an image house (pilima geya), dagoba and refectory (monk's dining room). Bricks recovered from the dagoba had Sinhalese characters belonging to the 10th and 11th centuries. Also there is a remains of a rate type of a circular building devoid of any statues or pedestals. Although the purpose of the this building is still a mystery, archaeologists have found seventy rare coins on excavating this building.

This site has been housed to 500 priests who received ordinance from the great thero Mahinda, who brought Buddhism to the country in 250 BC.

This is another site in Anuradhapura which is not visited by most of the pilgrims. Therefore this area still seems unspoilt up to now.


Home > Heritage > Anuradhapura > Vessagiriya

February 13, 2007
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