The Abhayagiri Monestery & Dagaba

Towering above the landscape, seemingly lost in time, the Abhayagiri Monastery & Dagaba offers a unique insight into the time when kings ruled the land. Located in the ancient city of Anuradhapura, this Buddhist monument tells a story of its own, interwoven with the rich history and heritage of Sri Lanka.

Dating back to the first century BC, the monastery was established by King Vattagamini Abhaya who chose this site on his triumphant return after having had to flee from invaders. With the arrival of peace in the kingdom, the monastery became a place of meditation and learning for around 5,000 monks who dwelled here.

Though much has been lost over time, the Abhayagiri Monastery & Dagaba still offer a fascinating journey of discovery. The largest of the city’s five main viharas, Abhayagiri’s awe-inspiring dagaba built by King Gajabahu (114-136) reaches to heights of a little over 100 metres, easily one of the most striking attractions in Anuradhapura.

Apart from the dagaba which dominates the site, you will also come across an impressive Buddha statue seated under a Bo Tree, a cave temple, a pond cut from stone and ancient moonstones carved from rock. Nearby is the Abhayagiri Museum where you can see jewellery, artefacts and pottery and get a deeper understanding of what life would have been like, all those many centuries ago.

Ulagalla Resort is only 28 km from the famous Abhayagiri Monastery & Dagaba which can be reached by car in about 35 to 40 minutes. It also offers the perfect base in the Cultural Triangle of Sri Lanka from which to explore Anuradhapura.

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