Eight sacred places of Anuradhapura

 

Eight sacred places of Anuradhapura

Anuradhapura is regarded as the first capital of Sri Lanka. The city of Anuradhapura continuously served as the capital of Sri Lanka for thirteen hundred years.

 It was growing as a religious city by establishing large Buddhist monasteries in the surrounding parkland. According to history, the city has been founded by king Pandukabaya in 380 BC. A large number of stone pillars and other ruins can be seen here.

 Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi

 Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi

Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi is the most sacred places in Sri Lanka. Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi is a branch of the sacred Bo tree under which, The Lord Buddha attained Enlightenment more than 2500 years ago.  Sangamitta the sister of Ven. Mahinda came to Sri Lanka to start Bikkuni sasana in the period of king Devanampiyathissa has brought the branch of the sacred Bodhi from India. It named Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi and planted in 288 BC. In Anuradhapura. The tree is believed that the oldest living planted a tree in the world.

 Ruwanveli stupa

 Ruwanveli stupa

Ruwanveliseya is constructed by king Duttagamini Abaya who was the ruler of Anuradapura period. It was designed like a bubble of milk. The stupa is also known Swarnamali stupa. It is said that the king did not live to see the completion of the stupa. His brother has been covered the stupa from white clothes and shows it to his elder son. When it was finally completed it was the most wonderful stupa in Sri Lanka. It is 91 meters high and believed that the relic of the Buddha is enshrined within the stupa. There are elephant figures wall surrounding the stupa. It is called Eth Paura.

  Lowamahapaya

  Lowamahapaya

 
Lovamahapaya was built by King Dutugemunu more than 2000 years ago. It is also known as the Brazen palace or Lovamahaprasada because its roof was covered by brazen tiles. It is situated between Ruwanweli stupa and Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi. There are remains of 1600 columns. Later king Parakkramabahu 1 has rebuilt this palace.

 The Thuparamaya

 The Thuparamaya
The Tuparama stupa has built by king Devanampiyathissa. It was the first stupa after introducing Buddhism in Sri Lanka.  It is believed that the collar bone of the Lord Buddha is enshrined within the stupa. The stupa was originally constructed with the shape of a heap of rice. It was said  Danyakara. But the stupa was destroyed several times. After then it was rebuilt in 1862. Now its shape is like a Bell.  There was a dome over the stupa. Now there are octagonal pillars around the Thuparamaya stupa.

 The Jethavanaramaya stupa

The Jethavanaramaya stupa
The Jethavanaramaya stupa is considered the largest stupa in the world made of brick. It was built by King Mahasen towards the end of the 4th century. It is believed that a part of the Buddha’s belt is enshrined within this stupa. The stupa is 160 meters high and it used 93 million brick for construction. Jethavanaramaya monastery had five thousand monks. There are many remains of the building of these residential monasteries.

 The Abayagiriya stupa

Abayagiriya stupa
The Abayagiriya stupa was built by king Gajabahu 1, the second century BC. The Abayagiriya monastery was built by king wattagamini Abaya. It is said that Abayagiriya monastery was the largest monastery in Sri Lanka for over 600 years and its peak, housed as many as six thousand monks. The Abayagiriya stupa is 72 meters high and with a 94 meters diameter. Long ago the stupa was covered with gold and jewels. The Chinese pilgrim fa- Hines described this stupa and mentioned covering gold and jewels. He has visited this stupa in 412 CE. It has been covered by the jungle for some period. How can it was rediscovered by the British.

Mirisawetiya stupa

Mirisawetiya stupa
Mirisawetiya stupa is known as the marichchawatti stupa. It was built by king Duttagamini Abaya after the win of his battle with King Elara.
 According to the legends, one day king Dutugemunu had gone to Tissa Wewa to take a bath. He had been leaving the sceptre here. When he was returning after taking bath, it is said that the sceptre couldn’t move from that place. As a result, the king decided to build a stupa in this place.  The stupa has been constructed many times by the king gajabahu 1 , woharikathissa, king Parakramabahu 1 and king Nissankamalla. Now the stupa is 192 feet high and bubble-shaped.

Lankarama stupa

Lankarama stupa

 Lankarama stupa is situated north side of the Ruwanweliseya. It was built by King Walagamba.The stupa is not a large stupa like the stupa in Anuradhapura. It is on the stone stand high of ten feet. There are 32 stone pillars around the stupa because it is believed that there was a dome over the stupa. The pillars head is similar to the Thuparama pillars.

Eight sacred places Map


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