Menikdena monastery complex
About Menikdena monastery complex
Menikdena monastery complex, almost unknown to foreign travellers, is one of the best examples of a specific Sinhalese Buddhist type of monastic architecture called Pabbata Vihara. This kind of temple compound with buildings systematically arranged to a symmetric groundplan was widespread in the late Anuradhapura period.
History of Menikdena monastery complex
The ancient structures, remants of which can be seen in the Menikdena Archaeological Reserve today, are mainly from the late Anuradhapura period. The reason for this assumption is the regular layout of the monastic complex, which is typical for the 8th century. Since antiquity, King Kittisirimegha (555-573) has been considered to be the founder of one of this earlier temples in Menigama, which was known as Budugama or Buthgama those days. Arahats are said to have lived in Sri Lanka only in the very first centuries of the Buddhist area, which corresponds roughly the pre-Christian era.