Isurumuniya Temple, Anuradhapura

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. Take a look at our Anuradhapura trip itinerary planning tool to schedule your visit to Isurumuniya Temple and learn about what else to see and do during your holiday.
Create an itinerary including Isurumuniya Temple
map
Isurumuniya Temple Reviews
Rate this attraction
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.0
343 reviews
Google
4.7
TripAdvisor
  • So many sites in Anuradhapura, but this is quite interesting. There is a little museum with nice carvings brought from outside. The elephant carving in situ by the pool is particularly beautiful.  more »
  • It's a Buddhist temple carved into the rock with a pond and then the opportunity to climb the rock. It is very scenic with carved sculptures, monkeys and squirrels that scamper around. Next there is a Cove full of bats. Wild charm and religiosity, a typical combination of Sri Lanka
    View original
  • Although this was not officially listed on the itinerary for our private tour of Sri Lanka, we gave our magnificent guide Palitha freedom to decide what we should see, and this temple was one of those...  more »
Google
  • One of the religious, historical and archaeologically important places to see in A'pura city
  • ISURUMUNIYA Isurumuniya is a Buddhist temple situated near to the Tissa Wewa (Tisa tank) in Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka. There are four carvings of special interest in this Vihara. They are the Isurumuniya Lovers, Elephant Pond and The Royal Family. The temple was built by King Devanampiya Tissa (307 BC to 267 BC) who ruled in the ancient Sri Lankan capital of Anuradhapura. During his reign 500 high caste children were ordained, and Isurumuniya was built as a monastic complex to house all of them. Thereafter it was renovated by King Kasyapa (473 – 491 AD) who renamed it “Boupulvan Kasubgiri Radmaha Vehera” – a combination of his name along with his two daughters’. 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.
  • A Buddhist ancient temple with famous sculpture "Isurumuni Pemyuwala (Isurumuni Loving Couple)" and "Man and the Horse Head". Great temple to watch and enjoy Sri Lankan heritage
  • Isurumuniya is a Buddhist temple situated near to the Tisawewa. There are four carvings of special interest in this Viharaya. They are the Isurumuniya Lovers, Elephant Pond and the Royal Family. Very nice and historical place to visit.
  • A buddhist temple beside the Thisa Wewa. Another palce that will take your breath away with it stunning views and stone carvings. You can climb on top of the rock and enjoy the hypnotic view of the Thisa Wewa and surroundings.

Plan your trip to Anuradhapura

  • Get a personalized plan

    A complete day-by-day itinerary
    based on your preferences
  • Customize it

    Refine your plan. We'll find the
    best routes and schedules
  • Book it

    Choose from the best hotels
    and activities. Up to 50% off
  • Manage it

    Everything in one place.
    Everyone on the same page.

Where to stay in Anuradhapura

Hotels and guesthouses lie scattered around Anuradhapura, and accommodations tend to concentrate in a green neighborhood between the main street and Nuwara Wewa irrigation tank. Mid-range hotels near the tank also have swimming pools. Budget travelers should explore the numerous family-run guesthouses, where you can negotiate the price. You can always accept the offer by your rickshaw driver for a basic room at a reasonable rate.
Live like a local, find unique places to stay
Millions of travel reviews on TripAdvisor

Plans in Anuradhapura by other users

6 days in Sri Lanka BY A USER FROM BANGLADESH January, culture, outdoors, historic sites, wildlife, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: January, culture, outdoors, historic sites, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 15 days in Sri Lanka BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM November, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, wildlife, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: November, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 14 days in Sri Lanka BY A USER FROM PORTUGAL November, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife, popular PREFERENCES: November, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 60 days in Asia & Europe BY A USER FROM SWITZERLAND May, kids, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, museums, wildlife, slow & easy, hidden gems PREFERENCES: May, kids, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, museums, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Slow & easy 6 days in Sri Lanka BY A USER FROM SRI LANKA January, relaxing, romantic, popular PREFERENCES: January, relaxing, romantic ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 60 days in Sri Lanka BY A USER FROM INDIA December, wildlife, popular PREFERENCES: December, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 13 days in Sri Lanka BY A USER FROM SWEDEN February, culture, outdoors, historic sites, wildlife, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: February, culture, outdoors, historic sites, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 3 days in Anuradhapura BY A USER FROM SRI LANKA January, popular PREFERENCES: January ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 3 days in Anuradhapura BY A USER FROM SRI LANKA November, popular PREFERENCES: November ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 11 days in Sri Lanka BY A USER FROM MALAYSIA May, culture, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: May, culture, relaxing, beaches, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 15 days in Sri Lanka BY A USER FROM MALAYSIA May, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife, popular PREFERENCES: May, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 60 days in Sri Lanka BY A USER FROM SINGAPORE November, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife, fast-paced, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: November, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Fast-paced
View more plans