Anuradhapura is the capital of the North Central province of Sri Lanka and is one of the ancient capitals of Sri Lanka. It is home to a number of well preserved ancient ruins, consequently making it one of eight UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Sri Lanka. There are plenty of options for accommodation in and around Anuradhapura, and the area also boasts a large number of boutique hotels. Sri Lanka has a number of affordable chains of boutique hotels, which cater to travelers who look for comfort and luxury without having to spend a fortune. One such boutique hotel is the Uga, Ulagalla Resort, located just 25km from city.
The Isurumuniya Temple, in Anuradhapura was built by King Devanampiya Tissa, who is believed to have ruled the capital city of Anuradhapura from 250 – 210 B.C. This temple is famous for 4 stone carvings in particular. However it is the carving popularly referred to as the ‘Isurumuniya Lovers’ that is the most famous. The carving of the two lovers was brought to the Isurumuniya Temple from the Royal Garden.
The stone carving is believed to be of Prince Saliya, the son of King Dutugemunu, and his lover Ashokamala. Ashokamala is said to have been from a lower social caste than Prince Saliya. As a result of his marriage to a person of a lower caste, Prince Saliya thus gave up his right to rule the country. Another contrary belief is that the stone carving represents the Hindu god and goddess Shiva, and Parvathi . Some also believe that it may depict a soldier and his wife who have been reunited after the soldier’s duty.
Some of the other stone carvings, including the Isurumuniya Lovers, have been relocated from their original positions to a small museum inside the Isurumuniya Temple for protection. Do not let this deter you as the Isurumuniya Temple is a truly sublime experience.
Pushpitha Wijesinghe is an experienced independent freelance writer. He specializes in providing a wide variety of content and articles related to the travel hospitality industry.