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Abhayagiri Vihara

Abhayagiri Vihāra or Abhayagiri Monastery or Abhayagiri Dagaba is the main compound of Mahayana, Theravada and Vajrayana Buddhism in Anuradhapura District, North Central Province, Sri Lanka, as one of the most extensive ruins in the world and one of the holiest cities built in the 2nd century BC. Abhayagiri is one of seventeen religious units in Anuradhapura and the largest of the five major monasteries.

Anuradhapura is a monastic center and Anuradhapura is a royal capital full of magnificent monasteries with bronze roofs and pottery tiles lined with brilliant colors. Large walls and an elaborate bathing pool to the north, carved balustrades and moon stones.

Xvlor Abhayagiri Vihara is complex of Buddhist sites in Anuradhapura

Chronicles noted Abhayagiri Dagaba was founded by King Valagamba in 89-77 BC. Seven Tamil chiefs landed in Mahatittha with mighty armies attacking Anuradhapura and defeating the King. Vattagamani Abhaya gathered troops to invade Anuradhapura in 89 BC and defeat the last Tamil king.

King Vattagamani Abhaya built Abhayagiri Vihara at the site of Giri monastery. Mahatissa Thera of Kupikkala was appointed as Chief Incumbent as a token of gratitude for his support in the war against invaders. Abhayagiri then became a symbol of religion and national awakening that marked the end of Hindu Brahmin and Jain influence.

Abhayagiri grew and became increasingly important under King Gajabahu I. King Mahasena built a new building in Abhayagiri and ushered in the 3rd Abhayagiri golden age and developed into the leading Theravada Buddhist center in Sri Lanka in 412 CE as an organized religious and educational institution and has relationships with China, Java, and Kashmir.

Mahayana Buddhism and the esoteric Vajrayāna were practiced in Sri Lanka in the 8th century AD. The predominant Abhayagiri tendency of Theravada changed in the 12th century AD when the Mahāvihāra gained the political support of King Parakkamabāhu I (1153-1186 CE) and completely abolished Abhayagiri's tradition.

The periodic South Indian invasion of Sena I in the 9th century led to the disintegration of the Abhayagiri monastery and the gradual destruction was inevitable. The dark era for 800 years until rediscovery in the 1880s as a scientific study in the ruins and preservation of several buildings in the early 20th century.

Although Buddhism is the state religion and the main doctrine followed by most of the population, the influence of other local beliefs especially Hinduism is enormous and is expressed in architecture. Hindu carvings and symbols are found in many features in Abhayagiri.

Xvlor.com Abhayagiri Vihara is complex of Buddhist sites in Anuradhapura

Location: Anuradhapura District, North Central Province, Sri Lanka

Routes and public transport: Flights to Anuradhapura Airport at Anuradhapura City. Another alternative is Sigiriya Airport, then drive 80 kilometers to Anuradhapura City.

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