Monday, August 29, 2011

Issurumuniyagala Monastery

This is one of the most interesting sites in Anuradhapura, and even though it is not included in the Cultural Triangle Round Ticket you really should not miss it. The monastery is carved out of a jungle of huge black boulders and contains a large reclining Buddha. There is a small attractive man-made pool in the front, with images of elephants carved into the boulders at the back of the pool. A staircase is carved out of the boulders, allowing you to climb up to the top for a view of the grounds and the Tissa Wewa lake beyond. At the exit from the reclining Buddha room, there is a cleft in the rock that is home to a colony of bats. The museum to the left of the entrance houses several pieces of sculpture, the most famous of which is the one called 'The Lovers.'

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