Pidurangala monastery, (near) Sigiriya, Central Province, SL

Raw data

Royal monastery Pidurangala (est. c. 5th century AD) near Mapagala, some 7 km N. of Sigiriya

This 13 acre extended monastery Complex illustrates religious attitude of king kashyapa (477-495 A:D) who built world renowned Sigiriya Rock Fortress during his reign. Pidurangala ancient monastery which is located adjacent to the Sigiriya rock is believed to be the Royal Temple where the king Kashyapa worshipped. […] But some inscriptions says pidurangala was also a monastery beyond Kashyapa period.
According to historical chronicles, Pidurangala has been existed as a well civilized, ancient place. All these details have been well confirmed by Brahmin inscriptions, rock inscriptions on the rock shelters. More over these bear witness that this viharaya was built according to the panchavasa concept and about 500 monks resided in a pirivena (educational institute of Buddhist monks) in ancient era. Panchavasa concept is "Bodhigaraya" (boo tree chamber), "Image house"," Chapter house", "Dagoba", and meditation chamber. [….] All area have been well surrounded by brick rampart.
Now remain a large cave centered ancient meditation chambers in a gigantic rock, a huge 48 feet long reclining Buddha statue made out of brick, clay and lime and one of the Asia's oldest and remaining of Dagoba with a Bodhigaraya."

"Pidurangala is a mountain about one kilometer from Sigiriya. At the bottom is a functioning monastery. All along the rocky path up, one comes across caves which were used by monks as early as the first century BC. Near the top is the colossal reclining Buddha image which has been recently restored. There the path ends, but one can reach the summit by climbing over rocks, from which the view, including Sigiriya itself, is breath-taking. On the summit, there are the remains and indications of a monastic building and a stupa."

"Pidurangala, like Sigiriya, dates back to the earliest phase of the Early Historical period when it was a rock cave monastery. The rock carved inscriptions upon the drip-ledges of 4 of the cave entrances of 14 shelters reveal that Pidurangala was a Buddhist rock cave monastery since 3rd century BC."

Input by: tmciolek, 24 Jan 2009

"A mile north of the Sigiriya citadel is Pidurangala which served as the royal monastery. A despoiled dagoba (dome-shaped structure built over relics of Buddha or Buddhist saints) at the foot of the hill could well have been the cremation site of King Kasyappa who founded the citadel. Carbon datings at the site coincide with the traditional date of the demise of the King. Above the modern temple are the old image houses. A flight of steps leads to the summit, where a long cave has a large recumbent image of the Buddha in brick and stucco.”
Input by: tmciolek, 23 Jan 2013

Final data (and their sources)

Last updated: 23 Jan 2013

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

Location of Pidurangala monastery, SL.

General location of the Pidurangala monastery, SL.
Lat 7.9664 Long 80.7618
Mapping & images: Falling Rain Genomics (, 2009.

Google Map link:,%20SL)&ll=7.9664,80.7618&spn=05.0,05.0&t=k&hl=en

Final data - explanatory notes

1. Monastery's name

  • Pidurangala monastery -

2. Monastery's modern country & province

  • Sri Lanka:Central Province

3. Monastery's alternative/historical names

  • [missing data]

4. Monastery's lat/long coordinates

  • Approx., Lat 7.9664 Long 80.7618 - based on the visual identification of the Pidurangala rock in maps and satellite imagery, in - 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

  • [missing data]

8. The settlement's coordinates

9. Monastery's major Buddhist tradition

  • Theravada

10. Monastery's Buddhist sub-tradition

  • [missing data]

11. Date-early

  • MBM chrono-tag <=0200 - tmciolek 23 Jan 2013
  • <=0200 0200-32c 0233-66c 0267-99c 0300-32c 0333-66c 0367-99c 0400-32c 0433-66p 0467-99p dated-ex

12. Date-intermediate

  • Royal monastery founded on the site in the 5th c. AD -
  • MBM chrono-tag 0400-32c 0433-66p 0467-99p - tmciolek 23 Jan 2013

13. Date-late

  • [missing data]

14. Details of contacts with other monasteries

  • [missing data]

15. Type of evidence regarding the monastery

  • [missing data]

16. Additional notes

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

  • [missing data]

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