Thanthirimale Raja Maha Viharaya

  • 56

Achintha Prabodha - Google

Thanthirimale was where the procession which brought the Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi from Dambakola Patuna to Anuradhapura rested for a night at the request of an ascetic named Thivakka. An inscription on the rock suggests that one of the first eight saplings of the Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi was gifted to ascetic Thivakka, and he planted the saplin at the Thanthirimale hermitage. This amazing 3rd-century BC temple consists of a 45 feet long reclining Buddha statue carved into the granite rock.

Not only the reclining Buddha Statue, on the opposite side of rock is a carving of an eight feet tall Samadhi Buddha statue. There are ruins of various other rock carvings, inscriptions, an ancient library, five ponds and caves which were used by Buddhist monks. 

The buddhist monks residing in the temple say that the reason for many of the statues being left without completion in the temple is due to the fact that Thanthimale was one of the first sacred Buddhist places to face the Indian invaders in the ancient times. The temple was believed to be hidden in the jungles following the invitations. However the Bodhi tree planted by the ascetic still exists and is well respected by Buddhist devotees.