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Ruins

Arankele Forest Monastery

  Province North western
  District Kurunagala
  Nearest Town Ibbagamuwa
  Period 6th Century
  Ruler Unknown

Introduction

Arankele cave hermitage was the site of an ancient forest monastery. Arankele is in two parts- The impressive ancient hermitage consists of moats, waterways and stone walls, a complete ancient hospital with stone herbal bath, herb-grinder, sick rooms, meditation and preaching halls, a large and beautifully designed bath, a circular shrine and a faultless drainage and sanitary system and the ancient sakman maluwa, the remarkable ‘meditation walk’ paved with dressed stone, shaded by hoary forest trees. Devotees visit the monastery daily to bring the offerings of food, drink and other necessities to the monks.

The fascinating sixth century Buddhist forest hermitage of Arankele is where the monk Maliyadeva and other hermits lived in solitude and meditation. The name Arankele is derived from Aram (hermitages), Kele (forest). Arankele means hermitages in the forest.Among the ruins are a Bodhigara, Simamalake and well-laid paths used by the Monks to pace to and from during the course of their meditation. A community of forest dwelling monks still reside in this temple ith the the cave shelters nestled deep in the jungle providing them the ideal retreats for meditation. An environmentally friendly person would find a typical tropical vegetation which includes hardwood trees.