Monday, September 28, 2009

Abheyagiri Dagoba, Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka.

King Vattagamini Abheya 89-87 BC, constructed this Dagoba, 350 feet high, at Anuradhapura the then capital of Sri Lanka. It reportedly contains some of the relics of Lord Buddha, in a chamber decorated with gems. The relics were enshrined inside a golden vessel shaped like a bull. The Abheyagiri was vandalised for being part of a heretic 'vaithulyavada' sect it is said on instigation by members of the Maha Vihara. Abheyagiri Dagoba is being restored now. Fa Hsien, the Chinese traveller of the 5th century AD refers to this place. Abheyagiri had a good library and Fa Hsien took copies of valuable documents from here to China for translation. They may still be available in Buddhist monasteries in China, and could be valuable material for research. Photo by Charaka Wickremasinghe.