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Isurumuniya Temple, Anuradhapura

(4.4/5 based on 300+ reviews on the web)
Known for its depiction of a huge reclining Buddha, Isurumuniya Temple includes many exquisite carvings, many of which date from around the 3rd century BCE and later. A lotus pond outside the temple features bathing elephants, masterfully carved out of rocks at the foot of a cliff. A small museum inside the temple contains more rock carvings, including a famous image of a love affair between a king and a lower-caste woman. Our Anuradhapura trip itinerary maker makes visiting Isurumuniya Temple and other Anuradhapura attractions simple, and helps you make a travel plan personal to you.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • It needs entrance fee to enter this temple. But, as a tourists, we did not find much to see, though our driver said this temple was one of the oldest Buddhist temples. I would not recommend this. 
  • We went to this Temple in the weekend. There were many locals which I liked. The pictures on tripadviser make it seem huge but it actually is (relatively) small. The museum is tiny and in my opinion n...  more »
  • This temple is a little out of the way away from the main attractions and therefore less strongly frequented - worth a visit.
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  • Isurumuniya is a Buddhist temple situated near to the Tisawewa (Tisa tank). There are four carvings of special interest in this Viharaya. They are the Isurumuniya Lovers, Elephant Pond and the Royal Family. History ======= The temple was built by King Devanampiya Tissa who ruled in the ancient Sri Lankan capital of Anuradhapura. After 500 children of high-caste were ordained, Isurumuniya was built for them to reside. King Kasyapa I (473-491 AD) renovated this viharaya and named it as "Boupulvan, Kasubgiri Radmaha Vehera". This name is derived from names of his 2 daughters and his name. There is a viharaya connected to a cave and above is a cliff. A small stupa is built on it. It can be seen that the constructional work of this stupa belong to the present period. Lower down on both sides of a cleft, in a rock that appears to rise out of a pool, have been carved the figures of elephants. On the rock is carved the figure of a horse. The carving of Isurumuniya lovers on the slab has been brought from another place and placed it there. A few yards away from this vihara is the Ranmasu Uyana.
  • Real rich cultural heritage of ancient Sri Lanka.Earned its reputation for charming stone carvings and the serene beauty of its situated location.A must visit Buddhist ancient pilgrimage point indeed.
  • Best for photographers and religious activities. Filled with art.
  • Isurumuniya is a Buddhist temple situated near to the Tisawewa (Tisa tank). There are four carvings of special interest in this Viharaya. They are the Isurumuniya Lovers, Elephant Pond and the Royal Family.
  • Best place to view ancient carvings. That "Isurumuni lovers" displayed here isn't from the temple but from a nearby ancient place called "Magul Maduwa" where rulers of older times had pleasure watching dancing performances etc.