header Notes Collection

500 Rupees 1992, Sri Lanka

in Krause book Number: 106b
Years of issue: 01.07.1992
Edition: 12 621 189
Signatures: Minister of Finance: Dingiri Banda Wijetunge, Governor: H. B. Dissanayaka
Serie: 1991 Issue
Specimen of: 01.01.1991
Material: Cotton fiber
Size (mm): 150 х 75
Printer: TDLR (Thomas de la Rue & Company), London

* All pictures marked magnify are increased partially by magnifying glass, the remaining open in full size by clicking on the image.

** The word "Specimen" is present only on some of electronic pictures, in accordance with banknote images publication rules of appropriate banks.

500 Rupees 1992




The Sri Lanka Lion holding a sword (from the coat of arms) (Panthera leo sinhaleyus), also known as the Ceylon Lion, was a prehistoric subspecies of lion, endemic to Sri Lanka. It appears to have become extinct prior to the arrival of culturally modern humans, c. 37,000 years BC.

This lion is only known from two teeth found in deposits at Kuruwita. Based on these teeth, P. Deraniyagala erected this subspecies in 1939. However, there is insufficient information to determine how it might differ from other subspecies of lion. Deraniyagala did not explain explicitly how he diagnosed the holotype of this subspecies as belonging to a lion, though he justified its allocation to a distinct subspecies of lion by its being "narrower and more elongate" than those of recent lions in the British Natural History Museum collection.

N.G Krasnodembskaya, R.D. Senasinha "The Image of the Lion in the Mythology and Symbolism of the Sinhalese Singhals" (From Prehistory to the Present) ".

“The image of a lion is inseparable from the culture of Sri Lanka and its main population, the Sinhalese. On behalf of the lion (in Sinhala,“Sinha”), their self-name is “Sinhala”, which is directly translated as“ lions ”, and descriptively, with the disclosure of the true meaning - people of the lion's race". One of the ancient names of the island is Sinhala-dvipa, that is, the“ Island of the Lions”, and it was from him that the Arabian Serendib and European Ceylon, Zeylan, Ceylon, and others. Afanasy Nikitin in his book“ of the sea ”called it“ Silyan Island. ”Often, Sinhalese names and surnames include as an element, the word "sinha", as can be seen in the name of one of the authors of this article (it can be translated as "lion among the soldiers"). It is considered proven that the ancestors of the Sinhalese were from northern India. According to the anthropological type, the Sinhalese belong to southern (dark-haired) Caucasians, although Sri Lankan scholars like to emphasize the prevalence among them of Australoid features. Sinhalese belongs to the new Indian branch of Indo-European languages ​​(its close relatives are modern Indian languages ​​like Mar Athi, Gujarati, Bengali). The fact of the ancient migration of a certain wave of Indo-Aryans from the territory of India to Lanka is clothed in a legendary form: the Sinhalese consider their progenitor Vijay, the prince of the northern Indian kingdom, who was expelled from his native lands for "pranks". After long sea wanderings, the legend says, Vijaya, together with his companions, reached the shores of Lanka and found refuge there. It happened around the middle of the first millennium BC. But Vijaya still has its legendary, "lion", backstory. It is most vividly recorded in the Sinhalese Buddhist chronicle, called "Mahavansa." This text was recorded in the V or VI. AD The image of a lion in the mythology and symbolism of the Sinhalese Sri Lankitradition seems to have existed for many previous centuries). Lankan scientists adhere to the version that it was in the VI. he was transferred from Old Sinhala to the language of Buddhist scholarship fell. Several of the opening chapters of the Mahavans are devoted to the most ancient history of the Sinhalese. However, it describes a time that is already far enough for those who testify about it. Therefore, the events of that time, in fact the prehistory of the Sinhalese, take on a legendary mythological form. In fact, the first historical person mentioned in the chronicles is Devanampiya Tissa (247–207). At the time of his reign, according to these historical legends, Buddhism was perceived by Sinhals from the missionaries of Ashoka, the Indian emperor, who reigned in the second half of the 3rd century. BC. This date is the main one on which scientists rely in studying the history of Lanka. In general, it is believed that the main relocation of the Sinhalese ancestors from Northern India to Lanka occurred in the 5th – 6th centuries. BC. The “lion's” theme is related to even more ancient times, and the events connected with it occurred (if they did) even on Indian territory.

The legend is this: From the marriage of King Vanga to Princess Kalinga [the names of the ancient Indian kingdoms] a daughter was born, distinguished by her wayward character and fervor of feelings. At the whim of her desires, she set off on a journey, joining the merchant caravan. A lion attacked the caravan on the way, and everyone fled, except for the princess who loved the adventure. However, the lion did not harm her, but, on the contrary, he felt a surge of tenderness and humbly approached her. The princess fearlessly touched the beast, and a keen love feeling pierced him. Then the lion grabbed the princess, sat him on his back and sped into his cave. So the princess became the wife of the king of beasts (which, by the way, was predicted by her at birth). From this marriage were born twins, a daughter and a son, who, instead of arms and legs, had lion's paws, therefore he was given the name Sihabab, that is, Lion's Hand. When the children were sixteen years old, they, together with their mother, fled from the cave in which the lion kept them locked up, and went to Wang. On the border of the kingdom, they were met by one of the commanders of King Vanga, who, as it turned out, was the cross-cousin of the former wife of the king of the forests. He was conquered by the beauty of a relative, took her to the capital Vanga, and there he married her (the marriage between the Crossuzees was resolved). In the meantime, a lion left alone was scouring the woods and trees in search of the missing wife and children and terrified the inhabitants. His son, seduced by a large reward (three thousand monetary units) decided to take part in the hunt for a lion, and then King Vanga (he was a grandfather to the young man) promised him to return the whole kingdom, if successful. The hunt was crowned with a victory over a lion, but Prince Lion's Hand ceded the kingdom to his uncle, husband to his mother (and his grandfather had already died by this time). Lion's Hand himself returned to the forest where he was born and founded the city of Sihapur (the Lion City) there, and around, in the forest, hundreds of yojans (Yojana is an ancient Indian measure of length, the size of which ranged from 7 to 20 km.) many villages: so the kingdom of Lal was formed, where he began to rule with his sister, marrying her. This couple was born sixteen pairs of twins, all - sons, and the eldest of them, who later became the heir to the throne, was called Vijaya (Victorious), and the second - Sumitta (The Good Friend). However, the young heir to the throne loved to “fool around”, and with his antics in a company with 700 friends he caused a lot of anxiety to his subjects. The Lion's Hand was forced to expel him from his kingdom. Vijay and his comrades were put on a ship and sent to the sea. After long wanderings friends arrived in Lanka. “Prince Vijaya, a brave man, stuck,” the chronicle said, “to the shore of Lanka, in the land called Tambapanni, on the day when Tathagata (the Finding Path) was one of the definitions of a Buddha, lying between two similar trees of fat, preparing go to nirvana. " On the shore, which pleased them deserted and, therefore, the lack of danger, Vijaya and his companions met with yakkhini demoness. The first to meet them was a demon servant in the shape of a dog, carried along one of the companions Vijay (he thought that the presence of a dog spoke about the proximity of the village) and led to her mistress, demon Kuvanna, who was sitting under a tree and spinning like a pious recluse. With her magic, Kuvanna lured the whole "retinue" of Vijay, and then he himself appeared. Between him and the demoness there was a skirmish, which ended in peace. After this, Kuvanna, demonstrating her humility, returned Vijay his people, promised to get him a kingdom and share a bed with him. She provided Vijaya and his companions with provisions looted from passing merchants. At the common meal, Vijaya invited the demoness herself and even, as stated in the chronicle, "offered her the first piece." Very flattered, the demoness took for the sake of Prince Vijai the appearance of a charming sixteen-year-old girl, smartly dressed and decorated with jewels. The demoness kept all her promises: Vijaya withdrew her kingdom from the demons; she bore him a son and a daughter. However, later, seeking to become the “legitimate” king of the new state, Vijaya was forced to think about the “legitimate” spouse. She became a princess from Madura (South India), the daughter of King Pandu. She also brought with her friends and wives to comrades Vijay. Having married a princess from Madura, Vijay forgot the leprosy of his youth and reigned "royally and safely" all of Lanka from her capital Tambapanni for thirty-eight years. (Н. Г. Краснодембская, Р. Д. Сенасинха "Образ льва в мифологии и символике сингалов Шри Ланки" (От предыстории до современности) .rus")


500 Rupees 1992


On background is the moonstone in Anuradhapura (Kings Palace).

The architectural detail unique to Sri Lanka is Sandakada Pahana (transliteration from Sinhalese) or Moonstone (in the English version).

In which Buddhist temple or the ancient city of Sri Lanka you do not go, you can see the moonstone in front of the steps or directly in front of the entrance to the building. Therefore it is useful to glance sometimes under legs.

The Moonstone is a semi-circle carved from a stone in the form of a half moon (oil is obtained, but it cannot be explained in any other way). And in accordance with the opinion of scientists, it symbolizes the path of Sansara (the cycle of birth and death; the cyclical nature of existence) in Buddhism. Every detail of the stone has its symbolic meaning. And I propose to consider everything in more detail on the example of the Moonstone from the ancient capital of Sri Lanka, Anuradhapura, who is considered to be the most beautiful on the island:

There is always a lotus in the center of the Moonstone. In Buddhism, the lotus is a symbol of purity and the human desire for enlightenment. The seeds of the lotus, falling into the bottom silt, germinate and tend to the light through the muddy water. In the same way, a person can break out of muddy mundane desires and passions for the light of enlightenment and nirvana.


The stone lotus is surrounded by half rings from a series of animals, birds, and plant plexuses. On the Moonstone in Anuradhapura on the way to the lotus (to read enlightenment) there follows a barrier from an intricate floral ornament. This interweaving of plants is called liyavel (liavel) and symbolizes trishna (or tanhu) - the thirst for life. In the teachings of the Buddha, trishna is one of the main causes of suffering, anxiety, and dissatisfaction. Further from the center we observe the procession of swans (very similar to geese). In Sri Lanka, it is believed that a swan can separate milk from water. Thus, a person will be able to separate the correct teaching of the Buddha from false doctrines or good from evil. Animals (elephant, buffalo, lion and horse) symbolize the four stages of life (birth, extinction, illness and death, respectively). Stylized flames on the border of the Moonstone are destruction and death.

Though looked like moonstones during the times of the greatness of Anuradhapura, after the decline of which, in Ceylon, the influence of Hinduism, as a religion, increased.


At the bottom, on dark red background is the bas-relief of the lion in Anuradhapura (Kings Palace). About the lion, please, read watermark description!

Kandyan Dancer Kandyan Dancer Kandyan Dancer

To the left of the center is the dancer, and to the right are drummers from the city of Kandy.

There are three main styles of classical dance of Sri Lanka: Dances of Kandians from the highlands, known as Uda Rath Natum; The dances of the poor from the southern plains, known as Pahatha Rata Natum; Dancing Sabaragamuva or Sabaragamuva Natum.

Kandyans dances take their name from the city of Kandy, the last royal capital of Sri Lanka, which is located about 120 kilometers from the modern capital of Colombo. This genre is today considered a classic dance of Sri Lanka. There are five different types: ves, naiyandi, uddekki, pantheru, and vannams. Three classical dance forms are distinguished by their styles of body movements and gestures, the costumes of the performers, and the shape and size of the barrels used to provide rhythmic sound accompaniments of the dances.

The drum is used in the Kandyans' Dances, called Geta Bera, drumming for such as ruhunu (small country) dances like “Yak Bera”, and the drum in Sabaragamuva Dancing as “Davula” (the word Bera or Berea in Sinhale means “drum”). Geta Bera and Yak Bera are beaten with their hands, and Davula is played with a stick on one side and the other; Geta Bera has a shape that narrows on both sides, while Yak Bera and Davula are both cylindrical.

The main distinguishing feature between Kandy and Sabaragamuva dances, and how Ruhuna dances, is that Ruhun dancers wear masks. ( .rus)

Denominations in numerals are in three corners, in words - centered.


500 Rupees 1992

Ruwanwelisaya Stupa Ruwanwelisaya Stupa Ruwanwelisaya Stupa

Ruwanwelisaya Stupa in Anuradhapura and Lotus Stem Pillars nearby.

The Ruwanwelisaya is a stupa, a hemispherical structure containing relics, in Sri Lanka, considered sacred to many Buddhists all over the world. It was built by King Dutugemunu[citation needed] c. 140 B.C., who became King of all Sri Lanka after a war in which the Chola King Ellalan, was defeated. It is also known as "Mahathupa", "Swarnamali Chaitya", "Suvarnamali Mahaceti" (in Pali) and "Rathnamali Dagaba".

This is one of the "Solosmasthana" (the 16 places of veneration) and the "Atamasthana" (the 8 places of veneration in the ancient sacred city of Anuradhapura). The stupa is one of the world's tallest ancient monuments, standing at 103 m. (338 ft.) and with a circumference of 290 m. (951 ft.). The original stupa had been about 55 m. (180 ft.) in height and was renovated by many kings. The Kaunghmudaw Pagoda in Sagaing, Myanmar is modeled after this stupa.

The stupa was a ruin in the XIX century. After fundraising efforts by a Sinhalese bhikkhu, it was renovated in the early XX century. The Ruwanveli Seya Restoration Society was founded in 1902 and the final crowning of the stupa took place on 17 June 1940.

After The Buddha's Mahaparinibbāna, His relics were enshrined and revered in stupas by princes of eight countries two quarts in each country. The two quarts of relics that were enshrined in the village Rāmagāma were, according to The Buddha’s determination, destined to be enshrined in the Great Stūpa Ruvanveli. King Dutthagamini (often spelled as Dutugemunu) who, on the full-moon day of the month of Āsāḷha (June–July), under the constellation of ‘‘Uttarāsāḷha’’, would officiate in the ceremony for the enshrining of the relics in the Great Stūpa, worshipped the Sangha (Order of monks) on the day before the full-moon day, reminded them that tomorrow is the appointed day for the enshrining of the relics and requested them to give him the relics. The Saṅgha ordered then the novice Arahant Soṇuttara, who was gifted with the six supernormal faculties, to procure the relics from Naga-Loka realm, which Arahant Soṇuttara manages to visit and bring and offer to the Sangha.

Then king Dutthagamini received from the Sangha the Buddha’s relics upon his head in a casket and departed from the golden pavilion in the midst of manifold offerings and honours made by gods and ‘‘Brahmas’’. He circumambulated the relic-chamber three times, entered to it from the east, and when laid the relic-casket on a silver couch one ‘‘koṭi’’ worth, that was arranged in the north side. An image of the Buddha was then, according to the Buddha’s determination, created in the lion’s reclining posture (‘‘sīhaseyya’’), and all the relics were enshrined within that image. When the enshrining of the relics in the Great Stūpa Ruvanveli was completed, the two novices Uttara and Sumana closed the relic-chamber with the stone-blocks that were previously hidden to be used as a lid.

In the Thupavamsa numerous types of beings attended the enshrinement of the relics into the Mahathupa; including the Naga king Mahakala who until recently guarded them. The relics were to be placed atop a golden throne crafted by Visvakarman the divine artificer; the throne brought by Indra. Brahma offers his invisible umbrella of sovereignty, with the king Dutthagamani offering his own. The arhat Indagutta creates a metal canopy over the universe, so that Mara will not interfere, as monks chanted the Sutta Pitaka (the Collection of Discourses delivered by the Buddha). Dutthagamani ceremoniously enters with the urn atop his head; but as he is about to place the urn on the golden throne, the relics rise into the air and form Buddha, with each of the 32 major signs and 80 lesser signs of a great man. In this form he performs the twin miracle of fire and water, fulfilling the fifth of his death bed resolutions. One hundred and twenty million gods and humans gain arhatship from this experience. The relics return to the urn and they are laid to rest and the chamber sealed with forty meter stone slabs.

"The relic-chamber shall not shake even by an earthquake; flowers such as jasmine that were offered on that day shall not wither till the end of Buddha Gotama’s Dispensation; the lamps that were kindled with ghee-oil shall not be extinguished; the clay that was mixed with perfume and sandalwood shall not dry; even a single scratch shall not appear within the relic-chamber; stains shall not appear in any of the golden goods that were offered.’ All this occurred by the determination-power of all Arahants present. They determined also that inimical persons should not be able to even see the relic-chamber. Furthermore, by order of king Dutugemunu, the people of Srī Lanka enshrined, along with many other objects such as golden and silver caskets, thousand more of the Buddha's relics over the relic-chamber."

Orchid Orchid Orchid

At the bottom is, in my opinion, Orchid Dendrobium maccarthiae or Vesak (named locally).

Epiphytic plant with slender, terete, penduloses, pseudobulbous stems; pseudo bulbs 16-60 cm. long; internodes 104 cm. long. Leaves 4-8 x 0.9-1.3 cm. Flowers light violet-pink, lip paler but with a purple blotch in the center, 5.5-6 long, 7.5 cm. across, 2-4 flowered, drooping racemrs which measure 9-11 cm. long; peduncle 2-3 cm. long. Fruit a loculicidal capsule, 3.2x1.17 diameter. (

Alcedo atthis

On top is the Kingfisher (Alcedo atthis) with fish in beak.

The common kingfisher (Alcedo atthis) also known as the Eurasian kingfisher, and river kingfisher, is a small kingfisher with seven subspecies recognized within its wide distribution across Eurasia and North Africa. It is resident in much of its range, but migrates from areas where rivers freeze in winter.

This sparrow-sized bird has the typical short-tailed, large-headed kingfisher profile; it has blue upperparts, orange underparts and a long bill. It feeds mainly on fish, caught by diving, and has special visual adaptations to enable it to see prey under water. The glossy white eggs are laid in a nest at the end of a burrow in a riverbank.

In the upper left corner is the face value by numeral "500", the right of which is the inscription in Sinhala, Tamil and English, "Central Bank of Sri Lanka". At the bottom of the banknote is an inscription - "Five Hundred Rupees" in Sinhala and English.