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Haththikuchchi Viharaya


Haththikuchchi Viharaya Hattikuchchi Temple

The 1st Century BC Cave complex of Forest Dwelling Monks amidst the Rock Boulders in Galgamuwa.

 

Haththikuchchi Viharaya or the Ethkus Vehera has got its name due to the fact that there is a large rock resembling a kneeling Elephant which gave the name Haththikuchchi. The meaning of the word Haththikuchchi in english is the 'elephant's belly'. This ancient temple premises which is over 100 acres as of today has a history running up to the 1st Century BC.

One can reach Haththikuchchi from Anuradhapura through Anuradhapura -Kurunegala road or from Putlam passing Anamaduwa and coming along Anuradhapura -Kurunegala road passing Galgamuwa town. On the 43rd Mile Post at Mahagalkadawala, turn off and proceed about 3 miles where you find the Haththikuchchi Temple.

Visiting this fantastic eco rich site is a bit time consuming as the approach to the site is away from the much ventured main roads but the effort is rewarding to the visitor as the cave complex amidst ponds and trees as well as spell binding landscape surrounding the site, is very special.

It is believed that King Sirsangabo who was living in this forest after renouncing the Crown, in around 244 AD, cut his own head and offered it to a villager, to be handed over to the ruling King Gotabaya at that time as the King had ordered to bring the head of Sirisangabo to him fearing Sirisangabo would overthrow him become King again..There are monuments to represent his tomb at this temple area.

 

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On the Way to Haththikuchchi via Giribawa

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The Haththikuchchi Temple rock terrain can be seen when reaching Mahagalkadawala from Giribawa .

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The Caves and Pond near the Museum

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Hattikuchchi Temple

Caves and ruins of a building is found on a lengthwise running rockbed.

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The Chapter House or the Uposataghara or the Pohoya Geya

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This rectangular shaped building is measuring 60 feet by 38 feet with 32 short stone pillars.

 

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The Image House or the Pathimaghara or the Pilima Geya

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This is situated between the Haththikuchchi Rock and the Chapter House and measures 84 feet by 57 feet.

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The Haththikuchchi Rock

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The shape of the elephant is seen clearly when looking from this angle.

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The Inscriptions on Haththikuchchi Rock

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Around 50 short Inscriptions on this rock has been read.

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The Stone Steps leading to Haththikuchchi Rock Surface

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There had been buildings on this rock surface in earlier times.

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The Ruins of a Building and the Cave on Haththikuchchi Rock Top

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There is a nice rock cave on the rock top.

 

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The Ancient Hospital or Vedahala

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Stone Bath and the Medicine preparing utensils.

 

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The Pond near Vedahala

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One of the beautiful ponds and the view of the Balancing rock at a distance.

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The Bo Tree House or the Bodhi-ghara

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The Bodhigharaya is 48 feet in length and 43 feet in width.There are two plain Moonstones found at this building with another smaller one placed at a narrow entrance.

 

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The Vatadagaya

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The most attractive monument found in this monastery complex is this Vatadagaya on a square platform.

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The Kuti

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Hattikuchchi Temple

 

There are two Kuti of 23 x23 feet found near Vatadagaya.

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The Cave Temple and Recline Buddha Image of Kandyan Era

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There is a reclined Buddha figure made of plaster belonging to 17th century said to be built by the villagers of the Milewa.

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Building with a Stone Bridge

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Residence buildings of monks with a stone bridge.

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Caves at the top of the rock and the landscape from Rock top

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The Upper caves and the surrounding areas seen from there.

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The Ira Handa nodakina Pokuna

[ Pond that doesn't get exposed to Sun and Moon]

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Hattikuchchi Viharaya

 

The Pond hidden beneath two rock boulders.

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Climb to the Upper Caves from the path behind the Museum.

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The path leading to Upper caves.

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The Balancing Rock

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The facinating large rock boulder is eye catching.

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Interactive Map of Haththikuchchi Temple

Move mouse pointer over Red square areas and click.

 

Interactive Map of Hattikuchchi Temple - Size- 408  KB

 

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Reference

Senarath Disanayaka " Asirimath Haththikuchchi Viharaya"- Sinhala Edition

 

Icon Haththikuchchi Viharaya [Temple]

 

Haththikuchchi Weather Now

Interactive Map of Haththikuchchi Temple

On the way to Haththikuchchi Viharaya

Caves and ponds near Museum

Chapter House or Uposataghara

Image House or Patimaghara

The Haththikuchchi Rock

Inscriptions on Haththikuchchi Rock

Haththikuchchi Rock Top

Ruins and Cave on Haththikuchchi Rock

Hospital or Vedahala

Pond near Vedahala

The Bodhighara

The Vatadagaya

The Kuti

Cave Temple and Buddha Image

Building with a Stone Bridge

Upper Caves and Landscape from top

Pond by the Upper Caves

Path to Upper Caves from behind the Museum

The Balancing Rock

 


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Anuradhapura

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