Extra terrestrial circles – Sri Lanka


Sri Lanka’s doesn’t have any crop circles. Extra terrestrial circles discussed in this post are more ancient. The “circles” are a strange circular carving on a boulder near the ancient Issurumumiya temple in Anuradapura.

There are many interpretations as to what they signify. Consequently even the name used to describe the carving varies. “Chakra” (circle) is the only constant component. I heard locals refer to this carving as “Pita” Sakvala Chakra which translates more closely as “extra terrestrial circles”. “Sakvala Chaka” – the name used on the web to describe the carving – emphasises the astronomical meaning. Which puts forward the theory that the carving had some astronomical function. Possibly in the service of astrology. Other of course suggest that it is the work of beings from another galaxy .

H. G Bell, one of the big names in Sri Lankan archaeology documented the carving which lakdiva.org has put online -along with some pictures. In recent times the circles have attracted attention from other sources as well.

I encountered the craving on a “group” trip to Anuradapura a few years back. The carving is unsettlingly precise for the rough surface of the stone. The shapes look very different from the usual motifs of Sri Lankan art. It gives the carving a feel of looking simultaneously primordial and timeless. The iconography could have been cut last year or 10 000 years ago.

The carving’s located is not a well visited or documented with signs. You just have to keep asking around. Outside an occasional tourist brought there by a guide hoping for a little extra in the tip. Or us Colombo types who have fled the city for an extended weekend in a friend’s van. We take the usual pictures posing in front of it. Cool our heals after wondering the regular cultural triangle sites. Our success and long day evaporates the excitement of finding the carving. The predictable speculation about the carving also putters out. It seems to say little other than – “yeah I’m here. I’ve always been here. Fuck you”.

Upstairs the sun is on the verge of clocking out for the day in all its golden splendour. Relenting to the collective call of our stomachs, whe amble towards the van, a shower, dinner, and sleep.

Post Script 2016

I finally got around to adding my photos of this carving on Flickr. You can view them on their own album.:
Extra terrestrial circles - Sri Lanka//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

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