Pabbata monastery, (in) Anuradhapura, North Central Province, SL

Raw data

"Every Friday evening we […] start our journey home from the Saliyapura campus, past the Puliyankulama Monastery Complex and turn left at the clock tower. We then drive along the Mihintale road to Matale junction. Here we take a right turn to drive up to Galkulama to meet the A9. On our way to Matale junction near the Nuwara Wewa security barrier is the Pabbata Vihara archeological site overlooking the imposing bund of the Nuwara Wewa. It is an impressive moated Pabbata vihara. There would have been five gate houses on the four sides. The centre of the complex is rectangular and there are steps leading to it from four sides. The retaining wall has had sculptured elephants in front view. This is considered to be the oldest hasti prakara discovered in the island. The ruins of a dagaba, image house, bodhgara and a chapter house are scattered around the central platform. A draw bridge probably gave access to the complex across the moat. Inscriptional evidence shows us that the complex was built by King Jettatissa (26 – 275 AC) [i.e r. 266-275 AD - tmc]. The Mahawamsa mentions an instance of King Jettatissa moving an image of the Buddha from Thuparamaya to this site. It is also mentioned that the very same statue was transferred to Abhayagiri Vihara by King Mahasena (275 – 01 AC) [i.e r. 275 to 301 AD - tmc]." (Edirisinghe 2010:1)

Input by: tmciolek, 9 Sep 2012

Final data (and their sources)

Last updated: 31 Jan 2014

Lat/Long coordinates' accuracy:
The monastery in question is assumed to be situated actually no farther than 200 m from the point defined by the coordinates below.

Location of Pabbata monastery, Sri Lanka.

General location of the Pabbata monastery, Sri Lanka.
Lat 8.3519 Long 80.4428
Mapping & images: Falling Rain Genomics (, 2009.

Google Map link:,%20SL)&ll=8.3519,80.4428&spn=05.0,05.0&t=k&hl=en

Final data - explanatory notes

1. Monastery's name

  • Pabbata monastery - Edirisinghe (2010)

2. Monastery's modern country & province

  • Sri Lanka:North Central Province

3. Monastery's alternative/historical names

  • Pabbata Vihara - Edirisinghe (2010)

4. Monastery's lat/long coordinates

  • Approx., Lat 8.3519 Long 80.4428 - based on the visual identification of the site in satellite imagery and maps, - tmciolek, 9 Sep 2012.

5. Other known nearby Buddhist monasteries

6. Modern name of the known nearest city, town, or village

7. The settlement's alternative/historical names

8. The settlement's coordinates

9. Monastery's major Buddhist tradition

  • Theravada

10. Monastery's Buddhist sub-tradition

  • [missing data]

11. Date-early

  • The complex was built by King Jettatissa (r. 266 – 275 AD)

MBM chrono-tag: 0267-99c - tmciolek 31 Jan 2014
0267-99c 0300-32c 0333-66c 0367-99c 0400-32c 0433-66c 0467-99c 0500-32c 0533-66c 0567-99c 0600-32c 0633-66c 0667-99c 0700-32c 0733-66c 0767-99c 0800-32c 0833-66c 0867-99c 0900-32c 0933-66c 0967-99c 1000-32c 1033-66c 1067-99p dated-el

12. Date-intermediate

  • [missing data]

13. Date-late

  • Deserted soon after 1070 A.D. when the capital (together with its civilian population and monks) has shifted from Anuradhapura to Polonnaruva for strategic reasons - Kulatunga (1999:3-4)

MBM chrono-tag: 1067-99p - tmciolek 31 Jan 2014

14. Details of contacts with other monasteries

  • King Jettatissa [r. 266-275 AD - tmc] transfers an image of the Buddha from Thuparama to Pabbata monastery (Edirisinghe 2010)
  • King Mahasena [r. 275 to 301 AD - tmc] transfers the very same statue from Pabbata to Abhayagiri monastery (Edirisinghe 2010)

15. Type of evidence regarding the monastery

  • [missing data]

16. Additional notes

  • [missing data]

17. Corrections & addenda to this page were kindly provided by

  • [missing data]

18. Available Printed Literature

  • [bibliographical details of the Book/Article 1]
  • [bibliographical details of the Book/Article 2]
  • [bibliographical details of the Book/Article 3]

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