The Abhayagiri Monestery & Dagaba

With just a 30-minute drive from Ulagalla, you can reach the Abhayagiri Monastery and Dagaba in Anuradhapura which had been established by King Vattagamini Abhaya, who lived during the first century BC. He chose this site on his triumphant return after having had to flee from invaders. It is said that over 5,000 monks dwelled there as it became a place of meditation and learning. Towering above the landscape, seemingly lost in time, the Abhayagiri Monastery and Dagaba offers a unique insight into the time when kings ruled the land.

Though much has been lost over time, the monastery still offers 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 BC), reaches to heights of a little over 100 metres, one of the most striking attractions in Anuradhapura.

You may also observe a stunning statue of Lord Buddha seated under a Bo tree, a cave temple, a pond cut from stone, and ancient moonstones carved from the rock at this sacred site. Amongst the other attractions in Anuradhapura is the Abhayagiri Museum nearby where ancient jewellery, artefacts, and pottery are displayed.

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