Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Brazen Palace in Anuradhapura

Today, all we have are 1600 stone pillars in 40 rows of the Brazen Palace. A great gleaming roof, made of copper, slanting down to all four sides from the centermost point gave shelter to 1000 windowed chambers in 9 stories rising to a height of 150 feet.

Says the Mahavamsa, the great historical Chronicle of Sri Lanka:
“A thousand well-arranged chambers were in the pasada, overlaid with various gems and adorned with windows. The king had a gem-pavilion set up in the middle. It was adorned with pillars consisting of precious stone, on which were figures of lions, tigers and so forth, and shapes of devatas. A bordering of pearl network ran round the edge of the pavilion and thereon was a coral vedika.” (Ch. 27)

That was during reign of King Dutugamunu, ‘The Hero of the Nation”.
Such was the splendor of the monumental Brazen Palace built on the location of chapter house called Mahamucala Malala consecrated by Maha Thera Mahinda, the apostle of Gauthama Buddha who devoted his lifetime to propagating Buddhism in ancient Lanka.

Adjoining Lohapasada or Brazen Palace are ruins of Alms-hall called Catussala of the Buddhist monks of Mahavihara monastery. At the eastern corner of these ruins is a rice boat, a 45 feet long vessel cut into a slab of rock that could contain alms to at least 3000 monks at a time. The rice boat corresponds well the narration of the Chinese Buddhist scholar Fa-Hsien. According to him, there were 3000 monks at Mahavihara monastery at Anuradhapura.

Picture gallery of Brazen Palace


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