The Abhayagiriya Museum is located within the ancient monastery complex of Abhayagiriya in Anuradhapura. It was opened for public exhibition on 13th June 1992. The museum, which was designed in ancient Panchavasa monastery plan was constructed by the Central Cultural Fund under financial aid from the People’s Republic of China. The Abhayagiriya Museum is named as ‘Mahatissa-Faxian Cultural Complex’ in order to commemorate Ven. Kupikkala Mahatissa, the first incumbent of the Abhayagiri Maha Vihara, and Ven. Fa-Xian, the Chinese Buddhist monk who studied Buddhism at the Abhayagiri Maha Vihara from 411 to 412 AD. It centers upon the Abhayagiriya archaeological complex.
The main purpose of this museum is to manifest through artifacts that were recovered from Abhayagiriya that Sri Lanka was a prosperous country which flourished through international relations, and a country where arts and technology harmonized remarkably.
Artefacts at display at this museum exhibit a wealth of information on ancient metallurgy, writing, religious customs, sculpture and art, ancient architecture, art techniques, hygiene, environmental conservation methods, hydrological technology, monastic administration, and time management that existed at the ancient Abhayagiri Vihara from 1st century BC to 11th century AD.
Gallery Plan of the Museum
The gallery plan consists of the inner gallery and outer gallery. The following artifacts are exhibited in these two galleries :
7 a.m. to 5.30 p.m. daily (Last entrance at 5 p.m.)
- Lavatory facilities
- Assistance from Information Officers for guiding inside the museum
- Book Shop and Souvenir shop
- Educational programmes (providing knowledge for A/L students’ educational assignments, and providing training and information for university students’ and researchers’ dissertations.
- Conducting monthly lectures and workshops.
- Temporary Exhibitions
- 2012 – Buddha statues and Reliquaries found from Abhayagiri Vihara
Anuradhapura Entrance Ticket
Free entrance for clergy and defence services personnel