Saturday, March 31, 2018

Keragala Padmavathi Pirivena

Keragala Padmavathi Pirivena, Sri Lanka
Keragala Padmavathi Pirivena (also known as Keragala Padmavathi Raja Maha Viharaya) is a Buddhist temple situated in Keragala village in Gampaha District, Sri Lanka. The site can be reached by traveling about 6 km distance from Weliveriya town. Keragala Viharaya is the destination of the messenger of Hamsa Sandeshaya (Manukulasooriya, 1978), a Sinhalese poetry written during the reign of King Parakramabahu VI (1412-1467 AD).

Inscriptions
Two stone inscriptions are found in the temple premises. They have been inscribed on both sides of the same slab and are cut in Sinhalese characters in vogue at the time (De Silva, 1912). Both inscriptions are Gal Sannas which give details about the grants awarded to the Keragala temple.

The first inscription is about a grant executed by Sannas Tiruvaraham Perumal upon order issued from the palace at Jayawardhana Kotte in the 11th year of Parakramabahu VI. The grant describe the boundaries and lands of Keragala Viharaya to be inherited in pupillary lineage from Rajaguru Wanaratana Maha Swami of Keragala (De Silva, 1912). The name of the Keragala Parivenadhipathi (the chief incumbent) Wanarathana Thera is also mentioned in Hamsa Sandeshaya (Wimalasena, 2016).
Keragala inscriptions Keragala Padmavathi Vihara Inscriptions

Script & Language : Modern Sinhala
Transcript : <<.....   Attanayaka    Dalasengamu
(manthrivarun)  thaman  langa  un  Alagakkonara
padayage   sahodara  buhunaniyan  Padmavathin
venda pudaganna lesata karavu Keragala Vihara...>>
Translation : <<.....  Keragala  Vihara,  erected by
(the minister)   Attanayaka   of  Dalasengamuwa
for   the    devotions    of   Padmavati,   sister   of
his  honour  Alagakkonara who  was  with  him...>>
Reference : De Silva (1912)
The second inscription has been inscribed on the reverse of the slab and is dated to the 11th year of King Vijayabahu VI. The inscription passes on through the incumbent Raja Guru Wanaratana Maha Swami of Keragala, the possession in pupillary lineage of certain villages inherited from, and appertained by, the monk of Wattala, Naga Sena Maha Thera (De Silva, 1912).

It also mentions that the temple was erected by Atthanayaka of Dalasengamuwa (modern Dalugama) for the devotional purposes of Padmavathi, the sister of Alagakkonara. The Alagakkonara in the inscription was the one who became the prime minister of King Vikramabahu III (1356-1371 AD). But according to the details given in the inscription, Alagakkonara was at the time staying with Atthanayaka and therefore it is assumed that the Keragala temple was erected some time before Alagakkonara became Prabu Raja [(before the commencement of Vikramabahu's reign) De Silva, 1912].

A protected site
The temple is a protected archaeological monument, declared by a Gazette notification published on 14 August 1964.
The Pinthaliya at Keragala temple The preaching hall at Keragala temple
A unique moonstone at Keragala temple A view of Keragala temple
References
1) De S. Manukulasooriya, R.C., 1978. Transport in Sri Lanka in Ancient and Medieval times. Journal of the Sri Lanka Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society, Vol. 24 (1978–79). pp.49-85.
2) De Silva, S., 1912. Inscription at Keragala: Journal of the Ceylon Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society (Vol. XXII). pp. 404-410.
3) The Gazette notification, no. 14092, 14 August 1964.
4) Wimalasena, N.A., 2016. Elite Groups, as a factor of Social Change in Fourteenth and Fifteenth Century in Sri Lanka. International Journal of Liberal Arts and Social Science. Vol. 4 No. 3. pp.18-30.

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