Saturday, March 31, 2018

Kota Vehera, Lahugala

Kota Vehera (also known as Kotavehera Raja Maha Viharaya) is a Buddhist monastery complex situated in Lahugala in Ampara District, Sri Lanka. The temple has been erected on a small hillock situated near to the Magul Maha Viharaya and contains a large Stupa built in accordance to the Kota Vehera style.

The history of this temple is dated back to the early Anuradhapura period (Anuradhapura era ranges from 377 1017 A.D.). A large number of stone inscriptions as well as carved Sri Pathul Gal (foot prints of Buddha) and stone pillars are found in the temple premises. The Chatra and the Yupa stone, discovered in the temple indicate that the temple Stupa was built in the form of the early Stupa tradition of the country. It has been found in inscriptions that this site was called in early times as Deegalaka Maha Vehera.

Reliquaries of Kota Vehera (left)

Period : 1st - 2nd century AD
Height : 7.8 cm
Description : The reliquary is made of gold
sheets arranged in flower fashion and was
sheltered by a series of Chatras  which are 
now missing.
  • Kotavehera Inscriptions No. 01

    Reign : Bhathikabhaya (19 B.C.-9 A.D.)
    Period : 1st Century A.D.
    Script : Later Brahmi
    Language : Old Sinhala
    Transcript : Siddam! Devanapiyatisa rajaha marumakanakaha kutakana rajahaputa Gamini Abaya...
    Translation : Hail! Gamini Abaya, son of Kutakanna Tissa, grandson of king Devanampiya Tissa...
    Reference : The information board by the Department of Archaeology and the State Ministry of Cultural Affairs
  • Kotavehera Inscriptions No. 02

    Reign : Gajabahu I (112-134 A.D.)
    Period : 2nd Century A.D.
    Script : Later Brahmi
    Language : Old Sinhala
    Content : Sabaya, the minister of king Gamini Abhaya (Gajaba) having exempted from taxes the hundred karises (400 amunas) of paddy land under Digalaka tank, donated it to Digalaka Vihara. Furthermore ten karises (40 amunas) of paddy land were offered for the activities of the Cetiya and one karisa (4 amunas) has been donated for lighiting lamp at the Stupa
    Reference : The information board by the Department of Archaeology and the State Ministry of Cultural Affairs

The ancient Dagoba, building sites with stone pillars, flight of steps carved on natural rock plain and drip ledged caves located in the Kotavehera monastery complex are protected archaeological monuments, declared by a Gazette notification published on 10 October 2014.

1) Lahugala Kota Vehera 2 by L Manju is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

1) Vithanachchi, C. R., 2013. Pauranika Sthana Saha Smaraka: Ampara Distrikkaya (In Sinhalese): Department of Archaeology (Sri Lanka), pp. 27-28.
2) The Gazette of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, no: 1884. 10 October 2014, p. 917.

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