Veherabandigala (Weherabendigala ) is the name of a rarely visited archaeological site of about 100 hectares, situated in Kiralagala close to Horupothana in the North-Central Province.
Veherabandigala is one of the archaeological sites in Sri Lanka with so-called Pathanagaras, double-platforms used as accommodation of monks or for meditation or both. Pathanagaras are a characteristic feature of forest monasteries of the ancient (or early medieval) Pamsukulika fraternity. Though double platforms can be seen at many other excavation sites in Sri Lanka, Veherabandigala is one of the five most significant Pamsukulika monasteries, the others being Ritigala, Arankala, Manakanda and Anuradhapura’s Western monasteries. However, Veherabandigala differs from these four classical Pamsukulika sites in many respects. Stupas and a Bodhigara (Bo Tree house) are usually not part of a Pamsukulika monastery but can be found in Veheranbandigala. Veheranbandigala’s monuments seem to be at least a hundred years older than those of Ritigala and other Pansukuluka monasteries. So Veherabandigala has both the characteristics of a classical Pancharma or Panchavihara complex on the one hand and of a Pamsukulika residence on the other hand. A possible explanation for this finding is that an earlier monastery was inhabited by Pamsukulika monks later on, who enlarged or modified the existing group of edifices without completely replacing it by their own kind of architecture.
Besides double platforms, four more typical elements of a Pamsukulika monastery can be seen in Veherabandigala, first of all a large pond and a hospital. The pond called Banda Pokuna is very well preserved and resembles the famous twin ponds (Kuttam Pokuna) in Anuradhapura. But it consists only of a single pool and is much larger than the pools of the Kuttam Pokuna. The pond of Veherabandigala is about 50 m in length. The Ayurvedic hospital (Janthagara) was a kind of bathing place, too, namely for hot-water treatments. Another typical element of Pamsukulika monasteries can be seen at Veherabandigala, namely urinal stones. Last not least there are also remnants of meditation pathes in Veherabandigala.
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