Points of Interest - Anuradhapura

Isurumuniya temple

Isurumuniya Temple

The Megahgiri Vihara or commonly known as Isurumuniya is a beautiful temple built near the Tisa Wewa (Tisa Tank), Anuradhapura. 

The Isurumuniya Viharaya was constructed during the reign of Devanampiya Tissa who governed in Anuradhapura, the country’s capital. During his reign 500 high caste children were ordained, and Isurumuniya was built as a monastic complex to house all of them. The temple is most famous for the stone carving called Isurumuniya Lovers, this was originally found in Royal Pleasure Gardens and brought here.

The carving of the “Isurumuniya Lovers” has sparked many legends over the centuries. The carving depicts a woman sitting on a man’s lap, lifting a finger in what some people interpret as a manifestation of her coyness. There are few interpretations surrounding the carvings, since there are no records exist of whom exactly unraveled in the carving. There is one strong theory says the carving is of Prince Saliya and Asokamala and another theory says that it is of the Hindu god Shiva and goddess Parvati.

Isurumuniya Temple is also known for few other carvings such as the bathing Elephants and Horseman which is believed Parjanya, the rain God and The Royal Family.

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