The ancient monastery of Arankele which is acclaimed to be the premier Forest Hemitage of Sri Lanka was constructed in the past for the use of Bhikkhus engaged in meditation. It is located in the Ganewatta Divisional Secretariat Division of the Kurunegala District.

There are two schools of thought regarding the origin of its name. One such thought is the combination of the word “aran” derived from Arahat and “kele” being forest hermitage where the Arahants took shelter.  The other being the adaptation of the two words “Arama” meaning monastery and “kele” meaning forest to form the word Arankele which had further evolved to sound Arankele.

This Bhikkhu monastery which is in a natural habitat has mountain slopes and plataues dotted with hundreds of buildings such as padhanagharas, Jantagharas (hot water bathing houses), Bodhigharas (parapet encrcling Bo trees), ponds, promenades, caves etc.

Of the buildings in the sacred area, the presence of a  Jantaghara for the aged and the sick Bhikkhus is of special significance. In the Jantaghara, places are set aside  for hot baths, saunas and  medicinal baths. In this building the hearths used for boiling water and grinding stones for the making of medicinal pastes from herbs are found as well.

The Cankamanaghara found in the complex is a sheltered promenade. Sanitary utilities comprising of the triade-urinals, toilets and wash rooms are located in the vicinity of the building.

In addition to ponds brimming with warter, long promenades, residences for the monks, buildings, Bodhigharas, Padhanagharas for the use of monks engaged in meditation are well placed in the monastic complex.

Last Updated on Monday, 29 October 2012 09:52