(අටමස්ථානය) or Eight sacred places are a
series of locations in
had visited during
his three visits to the country. The sacred places are known as Jaya
Sri Maha Bodhiya, Ruwanwelisaya, Thuparamaya, Lovamahapaya, Abhayagiri
and Lankarama. They are
situated in Anuradhapura, the capital of the ancient Anuradhapura
The sacred city of
exerted a considerable influence on
the development of architecture in the country during several
centuries. The city is nominated as a UNESCO
World Heritage Site
World Heritage Site
1982, it lies 205 km north of the current capital
island's North Central Province, on the banks of the historic Malvathu
According to the
the sacred city was found around 350 BC by
Pandukabhaya, the 1st king of the
kingdom and sixth since
the arrival of Vijaya. It eventually become the principal shrines of
including the branch planted of the sacred fig tree, Bodhi
tree from Bodhgaya, under which Siddharta attained spiritual
enlightenment and supreme wisdom. The sacred tree brought there in the
3rd century BC during the second mission, led by Sangamitta, a
nun and daughter of Emperor Ashoka. The relics of Buddha
have, moreover, shaped the religious topography of Anuradhapura, where
was built by Devanampiya Tissa in the 3rd century BC
to house the clavicle of Buddha, an important religious relic
presented by Emperor Ashoka.
The city's apogee was reached under the reign of Dutthagamani who, in
161 BC, defeated the South Indian invader
in the place of Brahminism and endowed the site with
extraordinary monuments including the Mirisaveti Stupa, Ruwanwelisaya,
and the Brazen Palace. The city flourished for 1,300 years, then was
abandoned after an invasion in 993. Later hidden away in dense jungle
for many years, the splendid site, with its palaces, monasteries and
monuments, is now accessible once again.
1 List of Atamasthana
1.1 Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi
1.5 Abhayagiri Dagaba
1.7 Mirisaveti Stupa
2 See also
List of Atamasthana
Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi
Main article: Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi
Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi, Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka. The oldest living tree
in documented history of the world.
Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi
Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi is a
Sacred Fig tree in Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka.
It is said to be a sapling from the historical
Bodhi tree under which
Buddha became enlightened. It was planted in 288 BC and is said to be
the southern branch of the Sri Maha Bodhi
Bodhgaya India, also the
oldest living human-planted tree in the world with a known planting
date. The sacred tree brought by the Ven. Sangamitta, the sister of
Ven. Arahath Mahinda who introduced Buddha's teachings into Sri Lanka.
The area around the Sri Maha Bodhi, the Brazen Palace and
Ruvanvelisaya Dagoba was once probably part of the Maha Vihara (Great
Temple). The sacred bodhi tree is the oldest historically
authenticated tree in the world, for it has been tended by an
uninterrupted succession of guardians for over 2000 years, even during
the periods of Indian occupation.
The Uda Maluwa, 35 feet by 55 feet, is 35 feet above the ground. The
wall was constructed during the reign of King Kirthi Sri Rajasingha,
to protect it from wild elephants. The late Ven. Pallegama Rewatha
Thera had planted the Pariwara Bo trees (accompanying Bo trees) to
camouflage the Bodhi to protect it from 'ruthless' humans and to
safeguard it from natural disasters such as strong winds and rains.
All Sri Lankan Heads of State usually have sought the blessings of the
Sri Maha Bodhi before commencing any important work.
Ruwanwelisaya Chedi in the sacred city of Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka.
Main article: Ruwanwelisaya
Ruwanwelisaya is a stupa in Sri Lanka, considered a marvel for its
architectural qualities and sacred to many Buddhists all over the
world. It was built by King Dutugemunu, who became lord of all Sri
Lanka after a war in which the Chola King Elara, was defeated. It is
also known as Mahathupa, Swarnamali Chaitya, Suvarnamali Mahaceti (in
Pali) and Rathnamali Dagaba. Also
King Dutugemunu didn’t live to see
its completion of dagoba but his final sight as he lay on his deathbed
could be a false bamboo-and-cloth finish was placed around the dagoba
to show his ‘completed’ masterpiece.
Today, after incurring much damage from invading Indian forces, it
rises 55m, considerably less than its original height; nor is its form
the same as the earlier ‘bubble’ shape. A limestone statue south
of the great dagoba is popularly thought to be of King Dutugemunu.
Main article: Thuparamaya
Thuparamaya dagoba in Anuradhapura.
Thuparamaya is a dagoba in Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka. It is a Buddhist
sacred place of veneration. Thera Mahinda, an envoy sent by King
Ashoka himself introduced
Buddhism and also chetiya worship
to Sri Lanka. At his request King Devanampiyatissa built Thuparamaya
in which was enshrined the collarbone of the Buddha. It is considered
to be the first dagaba built in
Sri Lanka following the introduction
of Buddhism. This is considered the earliest monument, the
construction of which was chronicled Sri Lanka. The name Thuparamaya
comes from "stupa" and "aramaya" which is a residential complex for
Thuparama Dagoba is the oldest dagoba in
Sri Lanka – indeed,
probably the oldest visible dagoba in the world. It was constructed by
Devanampiya Tissa in the 3rd century BC and is said to contain the
right collarbone of the Buddha. Its ‘heap-of-paddy-rice’ shape was
restored in 1862 in a more conventional bell shape and to a height of
The surrounding vatadage’s slender, capital-topped pillars, perhaps
the dagoba’s most unusual feature, enclose the structure in four
concentric circles. Impressions on the dagoba pediments indicate the
pillars originally numbered 176, of which 41 still stand. Although
some Sri Lankan scholars believe these once supported a conical wooden
roof, there is no archaeological evidence for this theory, nor does it
follow any known antecedent in South India, whose dagobas were the
prototypes for virtually all Sinhalese dagobas.
Main article: Lovamahapaya
Lovamahapaya is a building situated between Ruvanveliseya and Sri
Mahabodiya in the ancient city of Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka. It is also
known as the Brazen Palace or Lohaprasadaya because the roof was
covered with bronze tiles.
It was originally built by
King Dutugemunu more than 2000 years ago,
but throughout the ages it was rebuilt many times, each time a little
less grandiosely. There are remains of 1600 columns all that is left
of this huge palace, archaeological evidence said to have had nine
storeys and could accommodate around 1000 monks and attendants.
The current stand of pillars (now fenced off) is all that remains from
the last rebuild – that of King Parakramabahu around the 12th
Main article: Abhayagiri Dagaba
The Abayagiri Dagoba in Anuradhapura.
Abhayagiri Dagaba is situated in Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka. It was
made in during the reign of King Wattagamini Abhaya (commonly known as
King Valagamba).It is one of the most extensive ruins in the world and
one of the most sacred
Buddhist pilgrimage cities. Historically it was
a great monastic centre as well as a royal capital, with magnificent
monasteries rising to many stories, roofed with gilt bronze or tiles
of burnt clay glazed in brilliant colors. To the north of the city,
encircled by great walls and containing elaborate bathing ponds,
carved balustrades and moonstones, stood "Abhayagiri", one of
seventeen such religious units in
Anuradhapura and the largest of its
five major viharas. Surrounding the humped dagaba, Abhayagiri Vihara
was a seat of the Northern Monastery, or Uttara Vihara.
The 1st or 2nd century BC built Abhayagiri Dagoba (confused by some
books and maps with the Jetavanarama), was the centrepiece of a
monastery of 5000 monks. The name means ‘Hill of Protection’ or
‘Fearless Hill’, another claim ‘Giri’ was the name of a local
Jain monk. The monastery was part of the ‘School of the Secret
Forest’, a heretical sect that studied both Mahayana and Theravada
Buddhism, also Chinese traveller Faxian (also spelt Fa Hsien) visited
in AD 412.
The dagoba was probably rebuilt several times to reach its peak 75m
height. It has some interesting bas-reliefs, including one near the
western stairway of an elephant pulling up a tree. A large slab with a
Buddha footprint can be seen on the northern side, and the eastern and
western steps have unusual moonstones made from concentric stone
Main article: Jetavanaramaya
Jetavanarama Dagoba in Anuradhapura.
Jetavanaramaya is a stupa, located in the ruins of Jetavana
Monastery in the sacred world heritage city of Anuradhapura, Sri
Mahasena (273-301 AD) initiated the construction of the
stupa following the destruction of Mahavihara, his son Meghavanna
resume the construction work of the stupa. A part of a sash or
belt tied by the
Buddha is believed to be the relic that is enshrined
The archaeologists believe it may have the original height over 100m,
but today is about 70m, and also this was a similar height to the
Abhayagiri as well. When it was built, it was the third-tallest
monument in the world, the first two being Egyptian pyramids. A
British guidebook from the early 20th century calculated that there
were enough bricks in the dagoba’s brick core to make a 3m-high wall
stretching from London to Edinburgh.
Behind it stand the ruins of a monastery that could accommodate around
3000 monks, and one building has doorjambs over 8 m high which is
still standing, with another 3 m underground. At one time,
massive doors opened to reveal a large
Main article: Mirisaveti Stupa
Stupa at Night
Mirisaveti Stupa is situated in the ancient city of Anuradhapura,
Sri Lanka. King Dutugamunu built the
Mirisaveti Stupa after
defeating King Elara. After placing the
Buddha relics in the sceptre,
he had gone to Tisawewa for a bath leaving the sceptre. After the bath
he returned to the place where the sceptre was placed, and it is said
that it could not be moved. The stupa was built in the place where the
sceptre stood. It is also said that he remembered that he partook a
chilly curry without offering it to the sangha. In order to punish
himself he built the Mirisavetiya Dagaba. The extent of this land is
about 50 acres (20 ha). Although the king Kasyapa I and Kasyapa V
renovated this, from time to time it was dilapidated. What stands
today is the renovation done by the cultural Triangle Fund.
Main article: Lankarama
Lankarama is a stupa built by King Valagamba, in an ancient place at
Galhebakada in the ancient kingdom of Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka. Nothing
is known about the ancient form of the stupa, and later this was
renovated. The ruins show that there are rows of stone pillars and it
is no doubt that there has been a house built encircling the stupa
(vatadage) to cover it. The round courtyard of the stupa seems to be
10 feet (3 m) above the ground. The diameter of the stupa is 45 feet
(14 m). The courtyard is circular in shape and the diameter is 1332
feet (406 m).
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Archived from the original on 2010-08-19. Retrieved 2010-