Samadhi Buddha


This 4th-century statue, seated in the samadhi (meditation) pose, is regarded as one of the finest Buddha statues in Sri Lanka. When constructed, it was likely one of four statues placed at the cardinal directions.

Jawaharlal Nehru, a prominent leader in India’s independence movement and its first prime minister, is said to have maintained his composure while imprisoned by the British by regular contemplation of a photo of this statue.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Anuradhapura attractions

1. Abhayagiri Dagoba

0.19 MILES

Dating back to the 1st century BC, this colossal dagoba was the ceremonial focus of the 5000-strong Abhayagiri Monastery. Originally over 100m high, it…

2. Alms Hall

0.23 MILES

To the southwest of the Abhayagiri Dagoba this small site has a 19m-long stone batnava (or rice canoe) that would have been filled daily with cooked rice…

3. Abhayagiri Museum

0.26 MILES

This museum, south of the Abhayagiri Dagoba, is arguably the most interesting in Anuradhapura and contains a collection of squatting plates, jewellery,…

4. Ratnaprasada


Most of the 8th-century Ratnaprasada or 'Jewel Palace' lies in ruins today, though it was originally seven storeys high with a graceful, tiered roof. The…

5. Kuttam Pokuna

0.31 MILES

These swimming-pool-like ponds were likely used by monks from nearby Kaparamula residence hall. Water entered the larger pond through the mouth of a…

6. Kaparamula

0.42 MILES

This mula, or college, housed the bulk of Anuradhapura's many foreign monks and it was probably here that Chinese pilgrim Fa Xian spent two years studying…

7. Moonstone

0.43 MILES

Sitting northwest of the Abhayagiri Dagoba, this ruined 9th-century residential complex for monks is notable for having the finest carved moonstone in Sri…

8. Eth Pokuna

0.49 MILES

Surrounded by forest, this huge body of water is thought to have acted as an ancient water storage tank for the Abhayagiri monastery rather than as a pool…