Mawaragala Aranya Senasanaya (Dambana)

Mawaragala Aranya Senasanaya
Mawaragala Aranya Senasanaya (Sinhala: මාවරගල ආරණ්‍ය සේනාසනය) is a Buddhist cave temple established around the forest-covered Mawaragala mountain [385 m (1263.12 ft. amsl)] situated in the village of Dambana in Badulla District, Sri Lanka. The site is located about 15 km from Mahiyanganaya town.

The history of this temple runs back to the pre-Christian era. The temple consists of a number of rock caves prepared as dwellings for Buddhist monks and some of them are drip-ledged and contain Early Brahmi Inscriptions inscribed just below the drip ledges (Priyadarshani & Gunasena, 2017). Six such early Brahmi inscriptions have been recorded by Senarath Paranavitana in his book "Inscriptions of Ceylon: Volume I" published in 1970 (Paranavitana, 1970).

Mavaragala Cave Inscription
Mavaragala Cave Inscription of Tissa (I) and Anuradhi (II)

Period: 2nd century B.C. - 1st century A.D.
Script: Early Brahmi
Language: Old Sinhala
Transcript I: Parumaka Tabatisha puta Parumaka Tisaha lene shagasha
Translation I: The cave of chief Tissa, the son of chief Tamba-Tissa, (is given) to the Sanga.
Transcript II: Aciriya-Kanadatasha [jha]ya upashika-Anuradhiya lene shagasha
Translation II: The cave of female lay-devotee Anuradhi, wife of teacher Kanhadatta, [is given] to the Sangha
Reference: Paranavitana, 1970. p.57.

A protected site
The drip-ledges caves of Mawaragala Aranya Senasanaya sitauted in Mahiyanganaya Divisional Secretary’s Division are archaeological protected monuments, declared by a gazette notification published on 22 November 2002.

Mawaragala Aranya Senasanaya Mawaragala Aranya Senasanaya
1) Mavaragala by L Manju is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

1) Paranavitana, S., 1970. Inscription of Ceylon: Volume I: Early Brahmi inscription. Department of Archaeology Ceylon. pp.56-57.
2) Priyadarshani, S.A.N.; Gunasena, I.P.P., 2017. Pauranika Sthana Ha Smaraka: Badulla Distrikkaya (In Sinhala). Department of Archaeology. ISBN: 955-9159-48-8. pp.16-18.
3) The Gazette of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, no: 1264, 22 November 2002. 

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This page was last updated on 11 March 2023

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