Isurumuniya Vihara


This charming rock temple, dating from the reign of Devanampiya Tissa (r 307–267 BC), is set around a lovely lotus pond, the corner of which is carved with images of elephants playfully splashing water. The central temple has some particularly fine mural paintings. Climb around the back to the rock summit to see the bell-shaped stupa and a pair of Buddha footprints etched into the rock.

The small museum features the famous ‘lovers’ sculpture, which dates from around the 5th century AD and is carved in the artistic style of the Indian Gupta dynasty of the 4th and 5th centuries. Photos are tolerated, despite signs to the contrary.

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