Arankele Monastery is forest monastery, dates back to 6th Century. Arankale forest which is situated 117 Km away from Colombo, is located at the district of Kurunegala. The densely wooded terrain crowded with substantial hardwood trees is interspersed by the openings and clearings created by the on-going process of clearing scattered debris to unearth the ruins and re-erecting the fallen ruins.
The significance of the Arankale forest is its tranquility and how the natural formations of caves have been used for the hermit lifestyle of the monks. Furthermore, it was evident in the existence of meditation halls, stone-faced double platform structures. These platforms aligned in the east-west axis consist of the entrance porch to the east bridged by a giant monolith.
As you enter the Arankale Forest monastery, irrespective of the faith, you will get lost in the wilderness and find peace under the dense trees and streams of water. It is more like an outdoor park which was designed for the monks to develop their spiritual wellbeing.
The long walking paths to engage in sakmanbhavanawa (walking meditation), hot water ponds and vesting grinding stone for the Aryuvedic purposes, were evidence that this was a monastery which did not intend on having any ties with the outside world, as it was designed to be self-sufficient.
Featured Image Courtesy of : Nadun Yapa Bandara
Other Images by : Onal Karunaratne
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