In the Steps of the Pansakulikas
A monk descends Ritigala Mountain where, in the 9th century, King Sena of Anuradhapura built a monastery for the Pansakulikas or “Rag Robes”, a particularly ascetic order of Buddhist monks who fashioned their robes from the shrouds of the dead, scavenged from graves and funeral pyres. In addition to the monastery, the Ritigala Ruins consist of a hospital, a library, and other buildings, stretching back a thousand years, and sprawling through the jungle like the stone meditation walkways that climb the slopes of the highest mountain in northern Sri Lanka. The oldest part of the complex is the Banda Pokuna, a reservoir and bathing pool built in the 4th century BC by King Pandukabhaya, the son of Ummada Citta, the princess who’s beauty it was said could drive men mad with desire. Shot in December 2017.