Ruins located in Anuradhapura
Abhayagiri Vihara was a major monastery site of Theravada and Mahayana Buddhism in Anuradhapura. It is one of the most extensive ruins in the world. Historically it was a great monastic centre as well as a royal capital, with magnificent monasteries rising to many stories, roofed with gilt bronze or tiles of burnt clay glazed in brilliant colours. Founded by King Vattagamini in 88 BC, the monastery once housed as many as 5,000 monks and was the most powerful institution after the king.
The main ruins of the monastery are centred on the Abhayagiri stupa, the third of Anuradhapura’s great stupas, but don’t miss the beautiful Kuttam Pokuna (Twin Ponds), which formerly served as a bathing pool for the monks of the monastery.