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.

Monday, January 18, 2021

Star of India (gem)

Star of India is world-famous blue star sapphire originating from Sri Lanka. . 

It is a light-blue gray stone of 563 carats [(112.6 g) Grande & Augustyn, 2009; Hagan, 2018]. The milky quality and star effect of the stone are due to the effect of rutile mineral that presenting in the gem. Tiny rutile fibers in a three-fold pattern can reflect incoming light as a star and this effect is called asterism. The stone has stars on the both sides which is extremely rare for this size of sapphire.

Originated in the Earth 2 billions years ago the gem is said to have been mined in Sri Lanka in the 16th century. It was given to the museum in 1900 by J.P. Morgan, an American financier and banker. Presently, it is housed in the American Natural History Museum, New York City (Grande & Augustyn, 2009).

On 29 October 1964, the stone several other gems were stolen from the museum by Jack Murphy (alias Murph the Surf) and two other men (Hagan, 2018). It was recovered from a locker in Miami bus terminal and handed over to the museum within two days (Murphy, 1985). Thieves were also arrested (Murphy, 1985).  

Sri Lanka is famous for its gemstones since ancient times. However, this stone has been given a name that does not relate to Sri Lanka, the country of origin. 


1) Grande, L. and Augustyn, A., 2009. Gems and gemstones: timeless natural beauty of the mineral world. University of Chicago Press. p.63.
2) Hagan, F.E. and Daigle, L.E., 2018. Introduction to criminology: Theories, methods, and criminal behavior. Sage Publications. p.267.
3) Murphy, E., 1985. Murph the Surf. Spin. Vol. 1, No. 3. pp.50-51.

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Sunday, January 17, 2021

Hambantota Lighthouse

Hambantota Lighthouse is one of lighthouses in Sri Lanka. It is located in Hambantota tower hill area near the Martello Tower.

The lighthouse was constructed in 1926 (McCall, 1999). It was operational until the light is extinguished in 1977 (National Geospatial-intelligence Agency, 2005).

A protected monument
The Lighthouse at Towerhill road in Hambantota town west No. 09 village situated in Grama Niladhari Division, Hambantota in the Divisional Secretary’s Division, Hambantota is an archaeological protected monument, declared by a government gazette notification published on 24 March 2016. 

1) McCall, M.K., 1999. The Martello tower in Hambantota, Sri Lanka. Fort Vol.27. pp.143-157.
2) National Geospatial-intelligence Agency, 2005. Prostar Sailing Directions 2005 India & Bay of Bengal Enroute. ProStar Publications. 2005. p. 87
3) The Gazette of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. No: 1960. 24 March 2016 .p.227.

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Martello Tower, Hambantota

The Martello Tower in Hambantota is a historical tower of the early British colonial era in southern Sri Lanka. It is the oldest structure dating from the British period in Hambantota District and the only example of this fortification type in the country (McCall, 1999; Wisumperuma, 2015).

Martello Towers
Martello towers were built by the British in a number of their territories in the world after 1796 as a part of their military strategies. The name as well as the basic plan of these towers are related to a round tower at "Mortella" Point in Corsica, which was garrisoned by the French National Army (Wisumperuma, 2015). During the battle of San Fiorenzo in February 1794, the British troops under Sir David Dundas were impressed by its remarkable technical capabilities and strength (McCall, 1999; Wisumperuma, 2015). The British, after go through a study, adapted a tower of this type for their military purposes after 1796 (McCall, 1999; Wisumperuma, 2015). Subsequently, they built them in Cape Town, Nova Scotia (1796), St. Helena (1797), Minorca (1798), Scilly Isles on St. Mary's (1803), Ireland (1804), and England (more than one hundreds were built along the south coast of England during 1805-1812), Sierra Leone (between 1805-1807), Mauritius (1834), and Delhi [(c.1824) McCall, 1999; Wisumperuma, 2015]. The towers came to know by the name Martello, an anglicized form of the French word "Mortella" (Wisumperuma, 2015).

Hambantota Martello Tower
Following the unsuccessful attack by Kandyan insurgents in 1803, the tower is thought to have been built as a defense structure to face attacks from the landside as well as from the ocean (Wisumperuma, 2015). The idea to built this tower in Hambantota was come from Major General D.D. Wemyss, the then Commander of the Forces in Ceylon (Wisumperuma, 2015). He ordered Lt. William Gosset of the Royal Engineers to built a round tower to accommodate fifty people (Wisumperuma, 2015). The 1806 diary note of Sir Alexander Johnston mentions that the tower was built by Captain Goper of the Engineers (McCall, 1999). 

The tower is said to have been built on the site of a Dutch stronghold (McCall, 1999). The exact construction date of this tower is not known mainly due to the lack of records (McCall, 1999; Wisumperuma, 2015). However, the first record about its existence is found in a diary note from 1806 written by Sir Alexander Johnston, the acting Chief Justice (McCall, 1999; Wisumperuma, 2015). Scholars suggest its construction date to a time between 1796-1803 (Wisumperuma, 2015). According to Wisumperuma, the construction of the tower commenced after September 1804, and was still under construction in May 1805 (Wisumperuma, 2015).

The tower was first used as a fort and then it became a building under the Public Work Department (Wisumperuma, 2015). During the World War II (1939-1945), it was used for the military purposes (Wisumperuma, 2015). However, the tower finally fell into a state of abandoned for many years until the Department of Archaeology, funded by the NORAD (Norwegian Agency for Development Co-operation), initiated essential repairs in the early 1990s (McCall, 1999). 

Popular belief
The popular belief was that this tower was built by the Dutch who had the control of the area in the 17th and 18th centuries (Wisumperuma, 2015). The Hambantota Lakara, a Sinhala book published in 1916 mentions the tower as a Dutch fortification (Wisumperuma, 2015).

The tower
Built on a small hill, it is a two-storied round gun-tower (Wisumperuma, 2015). It is 25 feet tall and has a circumference of 120 feet 4 inches with a diameter of 38 feet (McCall, 1999; Wisumperuma, 2015). The thickness of the vertical wall is 4 feet (McCall, 1999; Wisumperuma, 2015). The roof is flat and the tower is surrounded by a circumferential platform. It appears that this tower has not been tested for any enemy attacks (Wisumperuma, 2015).

A protected monument
The Martello tower at Towerhill road in Hambantota town west No. 09 village situated in Grama Niladhari Division, Hambantota in the Divisional Secretary’s Division, Hambantota is an archaeological protected monument, declared by a government gazette notification published on 24 March 2016. 

1) McCall, M.K., 1999. The Martello tower in Hambantota, Sri Lanka. Fort Vol.27. pp.143-157.
2) Wisumperuma, D., 2015. The Date of the Martello Tower in Hambantota. Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society of Sri Lanka, pp.62-76. 
3) The Gazette of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. No: 1960. 24 March 2016 .p.227.

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Saturday, January 16, 2021

Coconut Tree Hill, Mirissa

Coconut Tree Hill, Mirissa
The Coconut Tree Hill is a coconut estate located by the side of Mirissa beach, in Galle District, Sri Lanka.

It is a small hill covered with coconut trees and tourists have to walk a bit to reach the place from the Galle Road. The unique and the spectacular view it possess have made this spot famous among the locals as well as the foreign tourists. It is also one of the most popular backgrounds for photoshoots in Sri Lanka.

In January 2021, a fence had been constructed across the hill by its landowner. However, it was removed following the social media outrage and the involvements of politicians.

1) Sri Lanka by Sergei Gussev is licensed under CC BY 2.0

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Star of Bombay

Star of Bombay
Star of Bombay is world-famous cabochon-cut star sapphire originating from Sri Lanka. The size, well-defined star, and deep blue color of this stone have made it one of the world's great star sapphires. 

It is a corundum (Al2O3) stone of 182 carats (36.4 g). It was given as a gift to silent film actress Mary Pickford by her husband Douglas Fairbanks Sr (Leavey, 2011). She bequeathed it to the Smithsonian Institute in Washington sometime before her death in 1979 (Leavey, 2011). Presently, it is housed in the Smithsonian Institute's Museum of Natural History. 

Sri Lanka is famous for its gemstones since ancient times. However, this stone has been given a name that does not relate to Sri Lanka, the country of origin. Its name Star of Bombay hints at the name of a major city in India.  

1) Leavey, P.D., 2011. Mary Pickford: Canada’s Silent Siren, America’s Sweetheart (Vol. 30). Dundurn. p.189. 

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Maduganga Estuary

The Madu-Ganga Wetland (or Maduganga Mangrove Estuary) is a small and relatively shallow brackish coastal aquatic system situated in the Galle District, Sri Lanka. Due to the high biodiversity and ecological values it possesses, Madu-Ganga was declared as Ramsar Convention site in 2003, and the Department of Wildlife Conservation, Sri Lanka named it a sanctuary in 2006 (Alagan & Aladuwaka, 2014; Marasinghe et al., 2021; Ratnayake et al., 2017). Presently, the area is popular as a nature-based tourist destination. 

Madu-Ganga Wetland belongs to two Divisional Secretariats namely, Balapitiya and Karandeniya of Galle Districts (Bambaradeniya et al., 2002). The falls within the South-Western Lowland Wet Zone of Sri Lanka and hence experiences a perennially wet climate (Bambaradeniya et al., 2002). The average annual temperature of the area is around 27ºC, and the average annual precipitation is around 2500 mm (Ratnayake et al., 2017). 

It is formed of two shallow water bodies: (1) Madu Ganga, which is the primary water body, and (2) the Randombe Lake, which is relatively smaller than Madu Ganga (Alagan & Aladuwaka, 2014). The central basin of the wetland is mainly fed by three tributary rivers; Boralessa Ela, Heen Ela, and Magala Ela (Bambaradeniya et al., 2002). The wetland is extending in an area of about 915 ha, of which 770 ha consist of open water (Bambaradeniya et al., 2002; Marasinghe et al., 2021). A total of 15 islands (145 ha of total land area) are surrounded by water throughout the year (Bambaradeniya et al., 2002; Marasinghe et al., 2021). The wetland is opened to the Indian Ocean by a narrow and short entrance channel (Ratnayake et al., 2017). Periodic geomorphological changes are observable at this channel throughout the year (Ratnayake et al., 2017). 
Flora & Fauna
Madu-Ganga has a rich biodiversity. The wetland consists of 303 species of plants belonging to 95 families (Amarathunga et al., 2010; Ratnayake et al., 2017). The total plant species comprise 19 endemics, 8 nationally threatened species, and 9 invasive alien species (Amarathunga et al., 2010; Ratnayake et al., 2017). Local vegetation of the wetland is dominated by mangrove swamps (Ratnayake et al., 2017). Thick mangrove vegetation is found along the northern and northwestern banks of Madu-Ganga, at the lagoon mouth, and on a majority of the islands (Bambaradeniya et al., 2002). 

A total of 248 species of vertebrate fauna, belonging to 121 families have been recorded from Maduganga (Amarathunga et al., 2010; Bambaradeniya et al., 2002). These included 20 species of endemics, while 30 species are nationally threatened (Amarathunga et al., 2010; Bambaradeniya et al., 2002). The wetland supports over 111 bird species, including 13 migratory species (Marasinghe et al., 2021). 

1) Alagan, R. and Aladuwaka, S., 2014. Participatory geographic information systems for environmental zoning plan: Case Study of the Madu Ganga estuary, Sri Lanka. In Voices of Globalization. Emerald Group Publishing Limited. pp.217-232. 
2) Amarathunga, A.A.D., Sureshkumar, N., Weerasekara, K.A.W.S., Wickramaarachchi, W.D.N. and Azmy, S.A.M., 2010. Study the effect of salinity and nutrients for the growth of Najas marina and its impact to aquatic biodiversity in Madu Ganga Ramsar Wetland in Sri Lanka. In Proceedings of International Forestry and Environment Symposium (Vol. 15). 
3) Bambaradeniya, C.N., Ekanayake, S.P., Kekulandala, L.D.C.B., Fernando, R.H.S.S., Samarawickrama, V.A.P. and Priyadharshana, T.G.M., 2002. An assessment of the status of biodiversity in the Maduganga mangrove estuary. Occasional Papers of IUCN Sri Lanka, 1, p.1. 
4) Marasinghe, S., Perera, P., Simpson, G.D. and Newsome, D., 2021. Nature-based tourism development in coastal wetlands of Sri Lanka: An Importance–Performance analysis at Maduganga Mangrove Estuary. Journal of Outdoor Recreation and Tourism, 33, pp.1-12. 
5) Ratnayake, A.S., Dushyantha, N., De Silva, N., Somasiri, H.P., Jayasekara, N.N., Weththasinghe, S.M., Samaradivakara, G.V.I., Vijitha, A.V.P. and Ratnayake, N.P., 2017. Sediment and physicochemical characteristics in Madu-ganga Estuary, southwest Sri Lanka. J Geol Soc Sri Lanka, 18, pp.43-52. 

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Thursday, January 14, 2021

Statue of Tara Devi, British Museum

Statue of Tara Devi The Statue of Tara Devi is an 8th-century gilt-bronze sculpture of the goddess Tara discovered from Sri Lanka. Presently, it is on the display at the British Museum, United Kingdom.

Statue of Tara from the British Museum

Museum number : 1830,0612.4
Cultures / periods: Buddhist / Anuradhapura
Production date   : 8th-century A.D. (circa)
Production place : Sri Lanka
Materials               : Bronze, gold
Technique             : gilded cast
Dimensions          : Height: 143 cm (not including plinth) 
                                 Width  : 44 cm 
                                 Depth  : 29.50 cm
Exhibition history: 1. 'The Art of Ancient Sri Lanka': exhibition at the Commonwealth Institute, London                                             (17 Jul to 13 Sep 1981)  
                                 2.'Buddhism: Art and Faith': temporary exhibition at the British Museum, London (1985)  
                                 3. 'A History of the World in 100 Objects', London, BM/BBC (2010-2011)
Subjects                : Bodhisattva deity 
Associated names: Tārā
Reference              : British Museum Collection (1830,0612.4)

Tara Devi
Tara Devi is considered the most beloved goddess of the Mahayana Buddhist pantheon (Jayawardene, 2016). She started to appear in the society of Sri Lanka around the seventh or eighth century A.D. and was worshipped until the fifteenth century A.D. (Jayawardene, 2016). Evidence for Tara worship in Sri Lanka is found in the Mihintale Slab Inscriptions of Mahinda IV (956-972 A.D.) where she is referred to as goddess Mininal (Gunawardana, 2019; Jayawardene, 2016; Wickremasinghe, 1912). The largest figure of Tara in the country is found in Buduruwagala (Gunawardana, 2019).

The statue
This solid-cast, gilt bronze statue of Tara Devi is 1.43 m tall and is in the Abhanga pose (Jayawardene, 2016). It has a Jatamakuta (a high tubular coiffure) held in place by Makaras. It had been garnished with stones but they are no more available. The empty niche in the front of the Jatamakuta would have contained a small seated image of the Buddha. The upper body is completely naked and the lower body dressed with a flimsy cloth tightly knotted at the hips. The waist is small and the breasts are round. The right hand is in the Varada Mudra while the left hand is in the Katakahasta Mudra (Gunawardana, 2019; Jayawardene, 2016). The two middle fingers of the right hand are missing as are toes from both feet. 

Some scholars had misunderstood this statue, to be the statue of the goddess Pattini (Coomaraswamy, 1909; Gunawardana, 2019). However, it is now identified as a statue of Tara. It probably stood inside a temple, with her male consort, Avalokiteshvara, but his image has not survived. Scholars have dated this statue to about the 8th century A.D. of the Anuradhapura Period (Gunawardana, 2019; Jayawardene, 2016).

A looted statue?
The findspot of the statue is not certainly known (Jayawardene, 2016). However, it is said to have been found from somewhere on the east coast of the country between Batticaloa and Trincomalee (Gunawardana, 2019). 

To the British Museum
The was removed from Ceylon (present Sri Lanka) in 1820 by the then Governor of Ceylon, Sir Robert Brownrigg (Jayawardene, 2016). Brownrigg was a soldier and he was made a Baronet in 1816 and a General in 1819 in recognition of his conquest of Sri Lanka's last kingdom, the Kandyan Kingdom in 1815 which resulted in the subjugation of the entire island to British rule (Jayawardene, 2016). It is supposed that Brownrigg uncovered the statue on the country's eastern coast and subsequently brought it to Britain (Howland et al., 2016). However, according to Sri Lankan officials, it had been wrongfully seized by Brownrigg from the collection of the last king of Kandy, Sri Vikrama Rajasinghe [(1798-1815 A.D.) Howland et al., 2016]. 

The statue was handed over to the British Museum in 1830 by Brownrigg's wife (Jayawardene, 2016). In the 1980s, she was accorded pride of place in the museum's South Asia Gallery (Jayawardene, 2016).

Repatriation Denied
Despite the 1970 UNESCO and 1995 UNIDROIT Conventions, attempts to repatriate objects plundered in centuries past have frequently failed (Howland et al., 2016). The statue of Tara Devi is an example for one such object (Greenfield, 1996; Howland et al., 2016).

Sri Lankan authorities identify this statue as a treasure removed from their country (Howland et al., 2016). In 1937, the Government of Ceylon under British rule made an official request to the British Museum to return the statue back to its original country but it was denied (Jayawardene, 2016). In 1980, the Sri Lankan Goverment made an official approach to the British Government for the return of specific objects in their museums (Greenfield, 1996). However, it became fruitless when the British Government refused to hand over them in 1981 (Greenfield, 1996). 

A replica for Sri Lanka 
A plaster cast of the statue was donated later to the  Colombo National Museum by the British Museum (Jayawardene, 2016). In 2004, the cast was replaced by a bronze statue (Jayawardene, 2016). Today this replica is being displayed at the Anuradhapura Gallery of Colombo Museum.

1) Coomaraswamy, A.K., 1909. Mahayana Buddhist images from Ceylon and Java. Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, 41(2), pp.283-297.
2) Greenfield, J., 1996. The return of cultural treasures. Cambridge University Press. pp.131-132.
3) Gunawardana, N., 2019. Identify the statues of Goddess Tārā in Sri Lanka and Evaluate the Importance with Trade. International Journal of Scientific and Research Publications, 9(9), pp.404-410.
4) Howland, D., Lillehoj, E. and Mayer, M. eds., 2016. Art and Sovereignty in Global Politics. Springer. pp.148-149
5) Jayawardene, S., 2016. Sri Lanka's Tārā Devī. Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society of Sri Lanka, 61(2), pp.1-30.
6) Wickremasinghe, D.M.D.Z., 1912. Epigraphia Zeylanica: Being lithic and other inscription of Ceylon (Vol. I). London. Archaeological Survey of Ceylon. p.103.

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Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Basavakkulama Rock Inscription of Mahanama

The Basavakkulama Rock Inscription of King Mahanama is a rock-cut record discovered from Anuradhapura District, Sri Lanka.

As mentioned in the Anual Administration report of the Archaeological Survey of Ceylon: 1952, the inscription was discovered incised on a rock in a private land located about a quarter of a mile to the north of the spill of Basavakkuḷama Wewa (Abhaya Wewa) at Anuradhapura (Paranavitana, 1960; Ranawella, 2009). The discovery is said to be made by Rev. Pandit T. Sri Dipananda Thera of Bharatindrasrama, Anuradhapura (Paranavitana, 1960).

The inscription was first published in 1960 by Senarath Paranavitana as part of an article dealing with the History of Sri Lanka entitled "New Light on the Buddhist Era in Ceylon and Early Sinhalese Chronology" (Paranavitana, 1960). He had dated the record to the reign of King Upatissa I [(c.370-410 A.D.) Paranavitana, 1960]. However, by pointing out the Paranavitana's reading as a fabrication, it was again published by Sirimal Ranawella in 2009, where he showed that it is a record of the reign of King Mahanama [(410-432 A.D.) Ranawella, 2009].

The inscription has been engraved on a rock surface, covering an area of 4 feet 7 inches by 2 feet 9 inches in 11 lines of writing (Paranavitana, 1960). The record refers to a monastery named Nekari ve(he)ra founded by King Mahanama and the granting of some villages and lands to that monastery by him (Ranawella, 2009).

1) Paranavitana, S., 1960. New Light on the Buddhist era in Ceylon and early Sinhalese chronology. University of Ceylon Review, Vol. XVIII, No.3& 4, 1960 pp. 129-155.
2) Ranawella, S., 2009. A Revised Edition of the Basavakkuḷma Rock Inscription of King Mahānāma (410-432). Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society of Sri Lanka, 55, pp.17-22.

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Mayilagastota Pillar Inscription of Kassapa V

The Mayilagastota Pillar Inscription of King Kassapa V is presently on the display at the Inscription Gallery of Colombo National Museum, Sri Lanka. 

The pillar
The pillar was discovered by J. H. Dawson, an irrigation officer from a location in Mayilagastota village in Hambantota District (Ranawella, 1987; Ranawella, 2005; Wickremasinghe, 1928). It was later brought to the present location for conservation.

The inscription has been engraved on three sides of a quadrilateral pillar [(6 feet by 10 inches by 6.5 inches) Ranawella, 2005]. The first two sides contain thirty-four lines each and the third side has twelve lines of writing (Ranawella, 2005).

The script and the language of the inscription are Sinhala of the 10th century A.D. (Ranawella, 2005). It is not dated in a regnal year of a king but from the other facts, scholars have dated this inscription to the reign of King Kassapa V [(914-923 A.D.) Ranawella, 2005]. The purport of the record was to register a grant of certain immunities in respect of a village named Kapugama which had been dedicated to some Pirivena attached to a monastery named Maha Vehera (probably Tissamaharama) by a prince named Apa Mihindu, a son of a king styled Abha Salamevan and a queen named Sang-gon (Ranawella, 1987; Ranawella, 2005).

1) Ranawella, S., 1987. Mayilagastota Pillar Inscription. Rohana Research Journal: Vol.2. pp.61-68.
2) Ranawella, S. (Ed.), 2005. Sinhala inscriptions in the Colombo National Museum: Spolia Zeylanica. Vol 42. (2005). Department of National Museums, Sri Lanka. pp.64-69.
3) Wickremasinghe, D. M. D. Z., 1928. Epigraphia Zeylanica: Being lithic and other inscriptions of Ceylon (Vol, II). Published for the government of Ceylon by Humphrey Milford. pp.57-63.

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Sunday, January 10, 2021

Bhatika Statue, Ruwanweliseya

A standing rock-cut statue which is believed to be that of King Bhatika [alias Bhatikabhaya (20 B.C.-9 A.D.)] or Bhatiya Tissa [translated into Pali as Bhatika Tissa (141-165 A.D.)] is found in the compound of Ruwanweliseya Stupa in Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka. According to the opinion of scholars, this statue can be classed as one of the oldest and most significant creations in the history of sculpture in the country (Vanarathana, 1990).

This statue was discovered among the other ruins of Ruwanweliseya. It had been broken into three parts at the time of its discovery (Vanarathana, 1990).

According to Mahavamsa, Bhatika (20 B.C.-9 A.D.) was an extremely pious king (Mahavamsa; ch.XXXIV:37-67). One day, due to the pressure of work, he couldn't arrive at the usual time to worship the Ruwanweliseya Stupa (Vanarathana, 1990). When he came there later, he heard a sound of Pirith-chanting coming from inside the dome of the Stupa (Vanarathana, 1990). Believing it as a chanting by Arahants, he lay down on the Stupa terrace and determined not to rise until he was able to see it (Vanarathana, 1990). Arahants who realized the intention of the king brought him inside the dome and showed him the treasures deposited therein (Vanarathana, 1990).

Folklore says that this statue has been constructed to commemorate this miraculous event (Vanarathana, 1990).

The costume and jewelry worn by the statue indicate that this is a representation of a royal person. The upper body is naked but ornamented with necklaces and bangles. The hands are in the posture of the Anjali-Mudra (Vanarathana, 1990).

According to some scholars, the form of this statue is very much similar to the Yaksha figure at Parkham (India) belonging to the B.C. period (Vanarathana, 1990). According to Senarath Paranavitana, there is a short legend written in a very ancient Brahmi script, which read as "Tisa Maha Raja" at the foot of this statue (Vanarathana, 1990). However, some read it as "Maha Rajaha ma(luthisa)" and believe that it is the statue of King Mali Tisa [translated into Pali as Kanittha Tissa (165-193 A.D.)], not Bhatiya Tissa [(141-165 A.D) Hettiarachchi, 1990].
1) Hettiarachchi, A.S., 1990. Investigation of 2nd, 3rd, and 4th century inscriptions. Archaeological Department Centenary (1890-1990): Commemorative Series: Vol. II: Inscriptions p.61.
2) Vanarathana, K., 1990. Sculpture and carvings of Sri Lanka from the 1st to 5th century A.D. Archaeological Department Centenary (1890-1990): Commemorative Series: Vol. IV: Sculpture.p.34.

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