Abhayagiriya is one of the prominent stupas of the Ancient Anuradhapura kingdom and also one of the places of Solosmassthana (the list of 16 prominent worship places of a Buddhist). This famous world stupa was built by the Kind Valagamba, who is also known as the King Vatta Gamini Abaya was constructed in the 1st century BC.
As per the Chinese monk Fa – Hien, who visited Sri Lanka in the 5th Century BC, Abayagiriya was 122 meters in height decorated with gold and silver and studded with precious jewels. Furthermore, as per the records of this monk, there was a 20ft tall Buddha statue which was sculptured from Jade.
Abhayagiriya is said to have been a monastery for Theravada Mahayana and Vajrayana sects of Buddhism. The bhikkhu’s Abhayagiriya, later became the main rivals of the Mahavihara bhikku sect, who practice, pure Theravada Buddhism, while the priests who are at abayagiriya were open to both the ideas of Theravada and Mahayana.
The visit to Abayagiriya stupa could take you back to a thousand years, due to its rough nature. Few years ago, during the discovery of the Stupa, the whole hemispherical body of the stupa was covered in trees and shrubs. As the Abhayagiriya stupa had withstood for many years, it had been subjected to many invasions and erosions.
Due to insufficient of funding, it was not able to be reconstructed to its old glory, and the Sri Lankan authorities were able to restore, it to understand and to study the ancient architecture. It is noted that most of the statues done by granite and most of the statues are preserved. The stupa has worthy monuments around the stupa.
However, due to the restoration process, the weeds and shrubs have been removed and was able to restore to a place to be worshiped though it was not able to be restored to its old glory.
Photo credit: Saqib Qayyum [CC BY-SA 3.0] Do not reuse without permission.