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Ranmasu Uyana ( The Star Gate of Ancient Anuradhapura )

Description

There is an unusual and unexplained artefact of an old civilisation of Si Lanka built on the rock in Ranmasu Uyana, also known as Gold Fish Park, found in the ancient city of Anuradhapura. This artefact is called Sekwala Chakraya, moreover identified as The Star Gate of Sri Lanka. Magul Uyana, the Royal Pleasure Gardens, lies on large rock stones and some caves. Engraved on the steep rock face of these boulders is a puzzling sight: a large circular diagram with a span nearly two metres in diameter.
The circle is filled with different Opes of symbols and patterns- linear and circular. The most immediate reference to this artery curving was by H.C.P Bell, the first Archaeological Commissioner of Sri Lanka (1890-1912). It is assigned to his 1901 Archaeology Survey Report of the North Central and Central Provinces. It is combined with the exploratory work he carried out in the area around the Isurumuniya Temple.

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History of Ranmasu Uyana

The city of Anuradhapura was founded around 400 BCE and remained the capital of Sri Lanka for over a thousand years. During this time, the city underwent many transformations, including construction of many impressive structures, such as palaces, temples, and parks. One of the most impressive structures is Ranmasu Uyana, founded during King Vasabha in the 1st century BCE.

The architecture of Ranmasu Uyana

Ranmasu Uyana has many unique features, such as the Water Garden, a series of interconnected pools that use gravity to create a constant water flow. However, the most impressive part of Ranmasu Uyana is undoubtedly the Star Gate, a six-foot-tall granite structure with eight points, each representing a planet in the solar system.

The Star Gate

The Star Gate is a testament to the ancient Sri Lankan people's advanced engineering and astronomical knowledge. The Star Gate was believed to be used as an observatory to track the movement of the stars and planets and for astrological purposes. The Star Gate is made of six granite slabs, each weighing several tons, which were cut and carved to fit together seamlessly.

The eight points of the Star Gate are adorned with intricate carvings, including figures of animals, gods, and celestial beings. The centre of the Star Gate contains a circular hole that is believed to have been used to observe the stars and planets. The Star Gate is aligned so that the circular hole points towards the North Star, which is crucial for navigation and astronomical observations.

The Goldfish Park

Goldfish Park is another unique feature of Ranmasu Uyana. It is a rectangular pool that is surrounded by stone walkways and platforms. The collection is filled with water; at one end, a small waterfall creates a tranquil and peaceful atmosphere. The Goldfish Park is home to many goldfish, considered sacred by the Sri Lankan people.

Goldfish Park was used for various purposes in ancient times. The pool was believed to be used for bathing and recreational activities such as fishing. Goldfish Park was also used for religious ceremonies and rituals. For example, the pool was thought to be used for ablutions before entering the nearby Abhayagiri Stupa, one of the most important sacred sites in ancient Sri Lanka.

Cultural Significance of Ranmasu Uyana

Ranmasu Uyana is a remarkable engineering feat with great cultural and religious significance for Sri Lankans. The ancient Sri Lankan civilization was deeply rooted in Buddhism, and many of the structures and features of Ranmasu Uyana were used for religious purposes.

The Water Garden, for example, was believed to represent the cycle of birth, death, and rebirth, a central tenet of Buddhism. The Star Gate was used for astrological and astronomical observations to determine auspicious religious ceremony and ritual times. The Goldfish Park was used for religious traditions and ablutions, and the goldfish themselves were considered sacred and were often released into nearby waterways as an act of merit.

Conservation and Preservation of Ranmasu Uyana

Despite its cultural and historical significance, Ranmasu Uyana has faced many challenges. The site was neglected and overgrown for many years, and many structures and features were damaged or destroyed by natural elements and human activity.

Efforts to preserve and conserve Ranmasu Uyana began in the mid-20th century, and today, the site is carefully managed and maintained by the Department of Archaeology of Sri Lanka. Conservation efforts include regularly cleaning and maintaining the structures and features and installing protective measures to prevent damage from natural elements and human activity.

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