Isurumuniya is also known as the Meghagiri Vihara and Isurumuniya Vihara. It is situated in Anuradhapura. This place is most famous for the stone carving of a couple named the “Isurumuniya lovers”. This carving was found in the royal garden and later brought to this place. Many stories are revolving around this carving.
Apart from the Isurumuniya lovers statue, there is another stone slab that depicts a court scene that is considered to be the court of king Dutugemunu. These stone slabs are believed to have been crafted in the 8th century.
The vihara is built on a rock and the sacred tooth relic of Buddha has been originally kept here when it arrived at the island from India. Also, there is a pond at the entrance above which there is a carving of bathing elephants. There is another carving of a man seated in a royal pose and a horse head on the top-level of the stairs. This carving is thought to be carving of Agni and Parjanya. Parjanya is considered to be the god for rain. The elephants who is below in the carving represent the clouds. It is believed that this place was used by the king to perform ceremonies for the god of rain at that time.
There are several stories about the Isurumuniya lovers carving. One of them is the story of Prince Saliya who is the son of the great king Dutugamunu and the prince’s mistress Asokamala. Asokamala was of a lower cast named “Chandala” and the prince gave up the right to be the king by marrying this girl who is of a lower cast.
Another story is that this couple represents the god Siva and goddess Parvathi of Hindu belief.
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 and take the 1st exit onto Kurunegala – Minuwangoda Road. Next, take the exit onto Anuradhapura-Padeniya Highway and turn left onto Sri Saranankara Sangarakkitha Mawatha and drive to Isurumuniya.
You have to head northeast on Sangabo Mawatha toward D S Senanayake Mawatha and turn left at Siri Saga Boo Bawana Madyasthanaya onto D S Senanayake Mawatha.
At the roundabout, you have to go straight onto D S Senanayake Mawatha and turn right onto Jayanthi Mawatha, Puttalam – Anuradhapura – Trincomalee Highway.
At the roundabout, take the 1st exit onto Bandaranaike Mawatha. In the next roundabout, continue straight onto Sri Saranankara Sangarakkitha Mawatha and turn right to your destination.
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