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 Post subject: Kumara Ella
 Post Posted: Sat Jun 16, 2007 12:26 am 
Kumara Ella where once the Buddhist monks bathed and worshipped

Jantagara or hot water bath referred to in Buddhist canonical and commentarial texts is of special significance in Buddhist architecture. Some refer to them as a kind of sauna. The centre of the jantagara buildings contains a gal-kotuwa or stone bath where it is believed steam baths were prepared for Buddhist monks, while there is evidence that the remainder of the building was used for the heating of hot water for the baths and preparation of medicines from local herbs.

by Kishanie S. Fernando
Monday, May 28, 2007 /DM


In close proximity to the little known Buduruwayaya archeological site in the Polonnaruwa district is found another interesting archeological site (About 7 (seven) kilometers from Bakamuna and 1½ (one and a half) kilometers from Buduruwayaya) This is the recently excavated archeology site of Kumara Ella on the Dambulla - Kalagahawela new expressway.

The site spreads on the banks of the Amban ganga and at one time of history must have made a picturesque setting for its purpose. For here one finds the ruins of a jantagara or bath house for Buddhist monks and a bodhigara or bodhi tree shrine. Excavation and Conservation here began in 2004 when the area was being cleared for the new highway. Presently ruins of two buildings can be seen, with pathways and parapet walls. The buildings after some controversy have been identified as a bodhigara and a jantagara or bathhouse. Some scholars have identified jantagara buildings with the genuine jantagara or hot water bath referred to in Buddhist canonical and commentarial texts, while some refer to them as a kind of sauna.

The jantagara is of special significance in Buddhist architecture. The centre of the jantagara contains a gal-kotuwa or stone bath where it is believed steam baths were prepared for Buddhist monks, while there is evidence that the remainder of the building was used for the heating of hot water for the baths and preparation of medicines from local herbs.


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