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Sinhalese Monastic Architecture: The Viharas of Anuradhapura

 
Senake Bandaranayake (Author)
Synopsis "Anuradhapura was the major centre of Buddhism in Sri Lanka and the country's principal city from the 3rd century B.C. to the 10th century A.D. This study focuses on the remains of the Buddhist monasteries in and around the city. It proposes a framework for studying this monastic architecture, attempts an interpretation of the Sinhalese tradition and places its forms and concepts in a wide historical and architectural context.

The most comprehensive and systematic treatment of these monasteries, this book brings together and re-examines material uncovered by over one-hundred years of archaeological exploration and research in Sri Lanka.

The introduction reviews the historical and archaeological significance of Anuradhapura, discusses the concept of tradition, and considers constructional methods and the relationship between formal and organic architecture. Section one deals with the monastic plan and examines the major types of monastery or sub-monastery. Section two explores the form and development of the main building types in the monasteries. Section three discusses architectural form and style. It argues that the essentially mixed brick-and-timber architecture of Anuradhapura is a classic expression of the Sinhalese tradition with its roots in the organic building conventions of the country, but is also a particular and distinctive characterisation of the architecture of Monsoon Asia to be viewed within the broad perspective of the unity and differentiation of cultures in the region."
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About the author

Senake Bandaranayake

Senake Bandaranayake is Emeritus Professor of Archaeology, University of Kelaniya. He was founding Director of the Postgraduate Institute of Archaeology and Archaeological Director of the Sigiriya Cultural Triangle Project. He was also Vice-Chancellor of his University and member of the University Grants Commission.

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Bibliographic information

Title Sinhalese Monastic Architecture: The Viharas of Anuradhapura
Format Softcover
Date published: 27.08.2009
Edition Reprint
Language: English
isbn 8125036753
length xviii+404p., Figures; Plates