Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Thanthirimale - Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka

photographs from the temple at Thanthirimale - Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka
Thanthirimale - Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka

Thanthirimale is a small village which lies in thick jungle approximately 40 km away from Anuradhapura. The temple in Thanthirimale is both religiously and historically significant and still attracts thousands of pilgrims during Poson. The history of Thanthirimale is said to date back to the 6th Century BC.

More photographs inside.
photographs from the temple at Thanthirimale - Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka
 Thanthirimale - Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka

References to Thanthirimale can be found in the Mahavamsa in the sections that describe the Bo (Ficus religiosa) sapling being brought to Sri Lanka during the reign of King Devanampiyatissa. The Bo tree in the temple is said to be a sapling from the sacred Bo tree in Mahamewuna Uyana.

photographs from the temple at Thanthirimale - Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka
Thanthirimale - Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka

There are five ancient Buddha statues, four of which are incomplete (6th image on the post), on the temple premises. The largest of these is the sleeping Buddha (photograph above) which has been carved out of the rock. Surprisingly, the proportions of the statue seemed to be incorrect as the legs look short when compared with the size of the upper body. This is the first time that I'd actually seen an ancient statue that was out of proportion.

photographs from the temple at Thanthirimale - Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka
Thanthirimale - Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka

The remains of an ancient library have been found on the premises. A number of rock huts and caves, which have most probably been used for meditation by monks for centuries, have also been discovered on the site.

photographs from the temple at Thanthirimale - Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka
Thanthirimale - Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka

In 1909 archeological evidence was found in a cave close to the temple which suggests that a prehistoric civilization existed in this area. The evidence included fragments of cherts, a piece of crystal and drawings, which are still visible, on the walls of a cave.

photographs from the temple at Thanthirimale - Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka
Thanthirimale - Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka

To top off the day we witnessed a stunning sunset on the drive back.

All photographs on this post were taken with the Canon 7D and the 24-105mm lens.

photographs from the temple at Thanthirimale - Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka
Thanthirimale - Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka






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