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located near the Tissa Wewa, Isurumuniya is known for its charming rock carvings. Both Tissa Wewa and the Isurumuniya temple were believed to be built in the same time period. Following the ordination of 500 high-caste countrymen the temple was built in the 3rd-century under the reign of King Devanampiya Tissa. However the carvings are believed to be from the 5th-century AD. The four main carvings in the temple are the Isurumuniya Lovers, the Royal Family, Elephant Pond and the resting warrior.
Isurumuniya Lovers, a woman sitting on a man’s lap was believed to represent Saliya King Dutugemunu’s son who gave up the throne for his lover Ashokamala from a lower-caste.
The Royal Family
The Royal Family, carving of five human figures represents King Dutugemunu and two of his family members, two men fanning the king. The King is wearing a crown and has a thread “puna noola” around his chest.
Resting Warrior, seated in a resting posture with his arms stretched beside a standing horse, the resting warrior carving beside the main temple does not reveal any character it represents.
The rocks boarding the pond have two carvings of bathing elephants. These elephant figures share similarities with the elephant figure in “Mamallapuram”.