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Hualin International Journal of Buddhist Studies 2.1 (2019): 133–152;
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Faxian)

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Images and Monasteries in Faxian’s Account on Anurādhapura

KIM Haewon 김혜원(金惠瑗)
Department of Asia, the National Museum of Korea

Abstract: This paper examines Faxian’s accounts on Sri Lanka focusing on important images and monasteries in Anurādhapura, the political and religious center of the island kingdom during his two-year stay in the early fifth century. Of particular interest are the records on the Bodhi Tree shrine, the installation of Buddha’s Tooth Relic, and the blue jade image in Abhayagiri vihara. These subjects will be discussed in relation to historical records, archaeological sites, and surviving Buddhist images in an effort to demonstrate the significance of Faxian’s accounts and pilgrimage.

Keywords: Faxian, Sri Lanka, Anurādhapura, Buddha’s Tooth Relic, Abhayagiri vihara


About the Author: Kim Haewon is curator of Asian Art at the National Museum of Korea. She previously taught at the University of Georgia as assistant professor of Asian Art and earned her Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania. Her publications include ‘New Research on Central Asian Paintings in the National Museum of Korea’, Archives of Asian Art, vol. 63, issue 2 (2013).


This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.