The ancient capital of Sri Lanka, Anuradhapura, is home to ruins, stupas and rocky hills that carry an atmosphere of tranquility. Isurumuniya is one of the granite, marble, and stone buildings situated near Tissa Wewa, and this Buddhist temple features architecture and monuments that highlight the liberation of the creators.

Isurumuniya Temple Anuradhapura in Sri Lanka
Isurumuniya Temple Anuradhapura in Sri Lanka
Horse head and the seated man
Horse head and the seated man - Isurumuniya Anuradhapura in Sri Lanka
Isurumuni lovers
Isurumuni lovers - Isurumuniya Temple Anuradhapura Sri Lanka

Isurumuniya – The lost temple

Isurumuniya is one of the oldest temples at Anuradhapura. It shows distinctive architecture and sculptor styles that are unique to the temple. Many sculptures are hewn out of the existing rock. Most notable sculptures are the herd of elephants, horse head and seated man, and the intricate carving of Isurumuni lovers. The temple dates back to pre-history. It might have been dedicated to a pre-Buddhist faith of unknown origin. The artifacts found here deviate from traditional Buddhist styles. It is one of the few places where non-Buddhist artifacts were discovered at Anuradhapura archaeological sites. Especially the carving of Isurumuni lovers is famous for how sensual its lines are. Yet undoubtedly, one would think such artistic traditions may have been discouraged at a Buddhist temple. This is also the case with the sculpture of a horse head and a seated man. Some historians argue that this sculpture symbolizes pre-Buddhist deities. It is a mystical place where relics of unknown faiths were forgotten forever.

Highlights of Isurumuniya

* Rock-cut Buddhist image house
* Herd of elephants
* Horsehead and the seated man
* Isurumuni lovers
* Moonstone with a traditional entrance