The Abhayagiriya Museum

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 artefacts that were recovered from Abhayagiriya that Sri Lanka was a prosperous country which flourished through international relations, and a country where arts and technology harmonised 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.

The gallery plan consists of the inner gallery and outer gallery. The following artifacts are exhibited in these two galleries :

Copper objects

Iron objects

Limestone statues


Bronze Buddha statues

Mahaya Buddhist artefacts

Samadhi Buddha statues

Standing Buddha statues

Samadhi Buddha statues from Mahavihara

Chinese porcelains

Gold and silver objects

Beads and artefacts made of minerals

Eight auspicious objects

Ancient coins

Limestone objects

Visitor Facilities

Lavatory facilities

Assistance from Information Officers for guiding inside the museum

Book Shop and Souvenir shop

Visitor Activates

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

Also discover more museums at anurdhapuraMuseums Anuradhapura 


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