Abhayagiri Vihara is situated in the sacred city of Anuradhapura. King Vattagamini Abaya also named King Walagamba is believed to have built this stupa. It has been found that there has been a Jain Temple in Sri Lanka in the 5th century BC at the time of King Pandukhabhaya.
There are many tales about this stupa. According to a chronicle it is stated that Buddha visited a place named “Seela Chetiya” in Anuradhapura on his 3rd visit to Sri Lanka. Deepawamsa connects this place and Abhayagiriya. The stupa is believed to be built upon a footprint of Buddha. Therefore it is stated that maybe the Seela Chetiya must have been where the current Abhayagiri Stupa stands.
Back in the past, a king named Vattagamini Abaya came to the throne in Anuradhapura. At his time a Tamil invasion took place. The king couldn’t withstand the attack and decided to retreat from the area. When he was on his way a Jain monk who was residing in the place where Abhayagiri stands today threw insults at the king saying “Look the great black Sinhala king is in flight”.
The king kept quiet but deep down it pricked his heart. When he came back to Anuradhapura after 14 years of long battle after defeating the invaders, he looked at this place and recollected the incident. Then he decided to build a huge temple here and offered it to Kuppikala Mahathissa Thero.
The stupa was named after combining the two names “Abaya” (The king’s name) and “Geri” (The Jain monk) which made “Abayagiri”.
Go on McCallum Road. Continue straight onto Colombo – Katunayake Expressway and take the Ja-Ela exit. Turn left onto Ja Ela-Ekala Highway and turn right onto Kurunegala Road.
Turn left at Kalugamuwa Junction onto Kalugamuwa-Wariyapola Road then go straight past Kurunegala Junction onto Mihindu Mawatha. You have to take the 2nd exit onto Thuparama Mawatha and turn onto Sangamiththa Mawatha. Turn left onto Watawandana Road and the destination will be on your right.
Go on Sangabo Mawatha and turn left onto D S Senanayake Mawatha. Turn right onto Puttalam- Trincomalee Highway and turn right at Kurunegala Junction onto Mihindu Mawatha.
You have to take a turn right onto Thuparama Mawatha and turn onto Sangamiththa Mawatha. Turn left onto Watawandana Road and the destination will be on your right.
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