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Tags : Historical Site

Timings : 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Time Required : 1 - 1.5 hours

Entry Fee : LKR 500

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Isurumuniya, Anuradhapura, Anuradhapura Overview

Sri Lanka's ancient capital city, Anuradhapura is home to relics, stupas and rocky hills that bring an aura of serenity. Isurumuniya is one of the granite, marble and stone structures located near Tissa Wewa, and this Buddhist temple boasts of architecture and sculptures that showcase the emancipation of the artists.

The structure of Isurumuniya is a crossover between a temple and a fortress. It was erected as a dorm for 500 kids and then evolved to becoming a temple owing to its sanctity. Ever since then, Isurumuniya nurtures young minds and leads them along the path of spirituality, wisdom and council. It shelters tourists and serves as an abode that facilitates religious teachings and discipline. The structure evokes decorum and the carvings on stone are beyond thought provoking. This divine structure comes to life with internationally acclaimed inscriptions of the Isurumuniya Lovers, Elephant Pond and The Royal Family.

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Architecture in Isurumuniya

The structure of Isurumuniya is a crossover between a temple and a fortress. The edifice is on a cliff, and the vihara opens to a cave wherein rests a stupa. A rock on the cleft of the cave gives rise to statues of elephants and horses that symbolise the might troop of their combat. There is also a lake behind this stone marvel whose water flow never ceases to amuse. The infamous Isurumuniya lovers is a tale built along the lines of Romeo – Juliet. The figurines represent the love between Dutugemunu's son Saliya and the Sadol Kula maiden, Asokamala. Legend has it that he gave up the throne for her as the inscription reads - "Hail! The cell of Mahaya is given to Venerable Asalaya". Despite being in an of backwardness in thought, the carvings capture the gender roles impeccably. It shows a woman leading a man towards a path of light by daunting him against the wrong way. Overall Isurumuniya won the different walks of life back in the 2nd century itself. It thoughtfully carved out intricacies and details that would easily slip away from one's mind. The artisan's flow of thought transitions smoothly, and that proves appealing to our eyes!

Poson Festival in Isurumuniya

The month of June sees the celebration of Buddhism in Sri Lanka. It marks the inception of Buddhism in Sri Lanka from the roots of India. Festivities take place in absolute grandeur, and the whole of Anuradhapura and its monuments are lit up to match this glamour.

History of Isurumuniya

The temple, built by King Devanampiya Tissa stands close to the Tissa tank. Isurumuniya was regarded as a fortress and shelter. As many as 500 kids were ordained to take up holy priesthood back then, and Isurumuniya was built as their place of stay. King Tissa to encourage more young people to religious ministry set up a camp for high-class children and offered them a comfortable place for learning and worship. Renovations on Isurumuniya were carried out by King Kasyapa I and the vihara were named as "Boupulvan, Kasubgiri Radmaha Vehera" after his two children. Each of the carvings in the temple has a backstory; one such states that according to Ramayana, Vaisrawana who lived in Vessagiriya ruled Sri Lanka from Lankapura before Ravana. Sri Lanka in its entirety and Anuradhapura, in particular, holds tales of history that mark the inception and evolution of Hinduism and Buddhism.

Tips to Travel to Isurumuniya

  • Footwear is not permitted.
  • Wear an outfit that covers your shoulders and knees as it is disrespectful.
  • Carry a pair of goggles and a bottle of water to stay hydrated!

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