Buddhism and Sri Lanka

According to Sri Lankan chronicles, Buddhism was introduced to Sri Lanka in the 3rd century B.C. by Arhant Mahinda, during the reign of King Devanampiya Tissa.

Sri Lankan Inscriptions

The earliest trace of epigraphy in South Asia is said to be found in Sri Lanka. A piece of pottery, dated to circa the 4th century B.C. has been discovered from the Anuradhapura citadel.

Architecture of Sri Lanka

The architecture of Sri lanka has a long history and shows diversed forms and styles, mainly infuenced by their religions and traditional beliefs.

Sri Lankan Antiquities

Inherited from the past, Sri Lanka has a large number of antiques with cultural and historical significance which reflects the glory of past era.

Visit Sri Lanka

Located in the northern waters of the Indian Ocean, Sri Lanka is an island blessed with a large number of attractons which has made the country an ideal destination for the tourism.

Sunday, July 25, 2021

Pravachanodaya Pirivena, Molligoda

Pravachanodaya Pirivena is a Buddhist temple situated in Molligoda in Kalutara District, Sri Lanka. Presently it serves as a Pirivena (an educational institute) for Buddhist monks.

History
After the establishment of Vidyoda Pirivena in Colombo (1873), and Vidyalankara Pirivena in Peliyadoda (1876), several Pirivenas were set up around the country mainly to educate Buddhist monks (Abeyawardana, 2002). Pravachanodaya Pirivena in Molligoda was one such institute established in 1891 by a local donor named Liyanage Lewis Perera Vidana-arachchi (Abeyawardana, 2002).

References
1) Abeyawardana, H.A.P., 2002. Heritage of Sabaragamuwa: Major natural, cultural and historic sites. Sabaragamuwa Development Bank and The Central Bank of Sri Lanka. ISBN: 955-575-077-7. p.100.

Location Map
This page was last updated on 25 July 2021
For a complete tourist map follow this link: Lankapradeepa Tourist Map

Sunandarama Pirivena, Ovitigala

Sunandarama Pirivena, Ovitigala
Sunandarama Pirivena is a Buddhist temple situated in Ovitigala in Kalutara District, Sri Lanka.

History
This temple is said to have been established in the second half of the 19th century. Induruwe Medhankara Thera was the first incumbent of the temple.

The image house
Murals in the image house
The old image house of Sunandarama Viharaya is considered the most important monument of the temple. It mainly consists of two parts; the inner chamber and the outer chamber (the vestibule). The inner chamber contains three Buddha statues in the seated, standing and the reclining postures. An entrance decorated with Makara Thorana (the dragon arch) provides access to this chamber. The walls and the ceiling of the outer chamber are filled with old murals depicting Buddhist themes such as Sath Sathiya (the first seven weeks after the enlightenment), Suvisi Vivaranaya (Buddha to be receiving the blessing from 24 previous Buddhas), and some important events in the life of the Buddha.

Two male figures wearing a colonial dress
The entrance door of the inner chamber is flanked by two lions and two guardian statues. Adjacent to the guardian statues are the paintings of two male figures wearing a dress of the colonial period. The black coat, tight-fitting breeches, pointed shoes have given these figures a western appearance and the white halo around their crowned heads have increased their status among other figures in the vestibule. As both figures have the same features, they probably represent the same person. However, of the two figures, one holds a brown leather-bound book by his right hand.

The front cover as well as the spine of this book contain some words written in Roman and Devanagari characters. The Roman scripts on the front cover label this book as "Denapota" which is probably the incorrect form of the original word "Dinapotha" (Sinhala: the diary), because the word written in Devanagari characters above this Roman word can be pronounced as "Dinapota". The Devanagari word on the spine of the book says "Me Potha" which can be translated from Sinhala to English as "this book". The year 1827 is also denoted in this book.

A protected site
The old Vihara-geya (image house) of Sunandarama Viharaya, situated in Ovitigala village in the Divisional Secretary’s Division of Matugama is an archaeological protected monument, declared by a government gazette notification published on 1 November 1996. 

Sunandarama Pirivena, Ovitigala .
References
1) The Gazette of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. No: 948. 1 November 1996.

Location Map
This page was last updated on 25 July 2021
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Saturday, July 24, 2021

Ashokarama Maha Viharaya, Kalutara

Ashokarama Maha Viharaya, Kalutara
Ashokarama Maha Viharaya is a Buddhist temple situated in Kalutara North in Kalutara District, Sri Lanka.

History
The image house
According to the details in the plaque fixed on to the front wall of the image house, a wealthy devotee named Wel Arumage Elliyas Fernando established the Ashokaramaya temple in the Buddhist Year 2411 (1868 A.D.) and bestowed it to Buddhist monks headed by Matara Sri Dhammarama Maha Swamipadayan Vahanse. Later, they (the Buddhist monks) handed over the custody of the temple to the lineage of students of Alutgama Sangharatana Maha Sthavira.

The Stupa of the temple, as mentioned on the upper part of it (in the Hatares Kotuwa), has been built in the Buddhist year 2442 (1899 A.D.). The decorative gate in front of it has been constructed by a person named A.F. Jayasekara Dharmasiriwardana Mudiyanse Ralahami.

Murals in the image house .
Location Map
This page was last updated on 25 July 2021
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Sudarshanarama Viharaya, Dodangoda

Sudarshanarama Viharaya, Dodangoda
Dodangoda Sudarshanarama Viharaya is a Buddhist temple situated in Dodangoda in Kalutara District, Sri Lanka.

History
By the 19th century, there were no Buddhist temples in the Dodangoda area and people had to go to Pushparama Viharaya in Malegoda for their religious activities (Priyandana, 2013). Therefore, a new Buddhist temple was established at the present site in Dodangoda under the guidance of a Buddhist monk named Dodangoda Sudassi Thera on 12 August 1855 (Priyandana, 2013). Later, Sudassi Thera handed over the custody of this temple to one of his students named Mawanane Indragupta Thera (Priyandana, 2013).

With the support of local donors such as D.V.W. Kotalawala and K.K.A. Ranaweera, an image house for this temple was begun to construct in 1880 (Priyandana, 2013). In 1911, the preaching hall of the temple was erected (Priyandana, 2013). A Stupa was added to the temple in 1928 (Priyandana, 2013).

The image house
The image house of Sudarshanarama Viharaya
The image house of Sudarshanarama Viharaya is considered the most important monument of the temple as it contains Kandyan mural and sculptures belonging to the second half of the 19th century. It mainly consists of two parts; the old image house and the newly-built outer house. The old image house is 52 ft. long and 45 ft. wide and contains two sections, viz; the inner chamber and the outer chamber (Priyandana, 2013). The inner chamber contains three Buddha statues in the seated, standing and reclining postures. Two entrances provide access to this chamber and a figure of the Queen of Great Britain surrounded by a lion, a unicorn and a royal crown is found over one of these entrances (Priyandana, 2013).
 
The murals in this old image house have been drew between the period 1881-1882 by a painter of the Kadolgalla Sittara lineage (Priyandana, 2013).

Murals of the Kandyan tradition.
References
1) Priyandana, W.H.R., 2013. Dodangoda Sri Sudarshanarama Maha Viharaye Bithusithuwam (In Sinhala). An author publication. pp.1-17

Location Map
This page was last updated on 25 July 2021
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Medawachchiya Wewa

Medawachchiya Wewa is a reservoir situated in Medawachchiya in Anuradhapura District, Sri Lanka. 

History
The present tank was restored in 1876 but breached in 1923 due to excessive rains (Arumugam, 1969). The repaired tank was damaged again during the heavy flood in December 1957 (Arumugam, 1969).

The reservoir
The bund of the reservoir is about 3,100 ft. long and the water is extending in an area of about 180 acres at its full supply level (Arumugam, 1969). It has one spill and two sluices (Arumugam, 1969). 

References
1) Arumugam, S., 1969. Water resources of Ceylon: its utilisation and development. Water Resources Board. p.324.

Location Map
This page was last updated on 24 July 2021
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Madukanda Wewa

Madukanda Wewa is a reservoir situated in Madukanda village in Vavunia District, Sri Lanka. 

History
The Madukanda area is believed to be one of the places where the sacred Tooth Relic of the Buddha was lodged on the journey from India to Anuradhapura in Sri Lanka (Arumugam, 1969).

The tank was restored in the 1886-1896 period (Arumugam, 1969).

The reservoir
The bund of the reservoir is about 3,550 ft. long and the water is extending in an area of about 270 acres at its full supply level (Arumugam, 1969). It has three spills and two sluices (Arumugam, 1969). 

References
1) Arumugam, S., 1969. Water resources of Ceylon: its utilisation and development. Water Resources Board. p.302.

Location Map
This page was last updated on 24 July 2021
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Mamaduwa Wewa

Mamaduwa Wewa is a reservoir situated in Mamaduwa village in Vavunia District, Sri Lanka. 

History
According to a 9th-century inscription in situ, this has been identified as the ancient Mahida Wewa (Nicholas, 1963). It is believed to have been repaired during the reign of King Kassapa V [(914-923 A.D.) Arumugam, 1969]. The Mahindatalaka Wewa restored by King Parakramabahu I (1153-1186 A.D.) during his reign is identical with this tank (Nicholas, 1963).

The tank was restored in the 1888-1896 period (Arumugam, 1969).

The reservoir
The bund of the reservoir is about 6,480 ft. long and the water is extending in an area of about 600 acres at its full supply level (Arumugam, 1969). It has two spills and three sluices (Arumugam, 1969). 

References
1) Arumugam, S., 1969. Water resources of Ceylon: its utilisation and development. Water Resources Board. p.304.
2) Nicholas, C. W., 1963. Historical topography of ancient and medieval Ceylon. Journal of the Ceylon Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society, New Series (Vol VI). Special Number: Colombo. Royal Asiatic Society (Ceylon Branch). p.87.

Location Map
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Hambegamuwa Wewa

Hambegamuwa Wewa is a reservoir situated in the Thanamalwila area in Monaragala District, Sri Lanka. 

History
This ancient tank was restored in 1890 and improved in 1961 (Arumugam, 1969).

The reservoir
The reservoir has been constructed by damming the Mau Ara (Arumugam, 1969). The bund of the reservoir is about 2,800 ft. long and the water is extending in an area of about 400 acres at its full supply level (Arumugam, 1969). It has three spills and two sluices (Arumugam, 1969). 

References
1) Arumugam, S., 1969. Water resources of Ceylon: its utilisation and development. Water Resources Board. p.106.

Location Map
This page was last updated on 24 July 2021
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Rajanganaya Reservoir

Rajanganaya Wewa is a reservoir built across the Kala Oya river, at Rajanganaya, bordering the North Western and North Central provinces of Sri Lanka.

History
This is a newly built reservoir. However, on the Kadigala hill where the dam of Rajanganaya reservoir abuts into the rock are the ruins of ancient Maha Mangala Viharaya built on the bank of Gona Nadi (the ancient name used to identify the present Kala Oya river) by King Vankanasika Tissa [(109-112 A.D.) Arumugam, 1969]. Rock-cut flight of steps, Stupa mounds are found at this site (Arumugam, 1969).

The reservoir
The reservoir has been constructed by damming the Kala Oya river (Arumugam, 1969). The bund of the reservoir is about 1.62 km. long and the water is extending in an area of about 4,000 acres at its full supply level (Arumugam, 1969). It has one spill and two sluices (Arumugam, 1969). 

References
1) Arumugam, S., 1969. Water resources of Ceylon: its utilisation and development. Water Resources Board. p.349.

Location Map
This page was last updated on 24 July 2021
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Dewahuwa Wewa

Dewahuwa Wewa is a reservoir situated in the Galewela area in Matale District, Sri Lanka. 

History
According to the local tradition, King Dutugemunu received a Pirith thread (Huya) from the gods (Dewa) when he encamped at this site (Arumugam, 1969).

The reservoir
The present reservoir has been made by merging two tanks named Dewahuwa and Palu Rotawewa in 1950 (Arumugam, 1969). The bund of the reservoir is about 4,300 ft. long and the water is extending in an area of about 850 acres at its full supply level (Arumugam, 1969). It has one spill and one sluice (Arumugam, 1969). 

References
1) Arumugam, S., 1969. Water resources of Ceylon: its utilisation and development. Water Resources Board. p.341.

Location Map
This page was last updated on 24 July 2021
For a complete tourist map follow this link: Lankapradeepa Tourist Map