Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Piyangala Aranya Senasanaya

The Stupa of Piyangala Aranya Senasanaya, Ampara
Piyangala Aranya Senasanaya (also known as Piyangala Raja Maha Viharaya) is an ancient Buddhist temple situated in Piyangala in Ampara District, Sri Lanka. The site is located about 18 km far from Uhana town.

The temple is a forest hermitage and situated in the eastern part of the Rajagala mountain (Withanachchi, 2013). A large number of caves which were prepared as dwellings for the monks are found in the temple premises. Some of caves contain early Brahmi inscriptions inscribed just below the drip-ledge. Among these, several inscriptions are considered very important as they give details about the royal relations connected to King Dutugemunu (161-137 BC).

A drip ledged cave at Piyangala Aranya A drip ledged cave at Piyangala Aranya
  • Piyangala cave inscription of Uttaragutta (above photograph)

    Transcript  : Utharagutha theraha lene
    Translation : The cave of Uththara Guththa Thera.
  • Piyangala cave inscription of Chunda Tissa
    Transcript  :
    Batha Chudi Thishaha lene dashahagama....shagasha
    Translation : The cave of chief Chunda Thissa/Chula Thissa (is given) to the (Buddhist) priesthood.
Ruins of several Stupas as well as fragments of clay tiles and bricks have been found in the hermitage. Near to the temple, a cave with frescoes of Adiwasi people (Vedda) and a site with ruined stone pillars are found.

The Piyangala Viharaya is a archaeological protected monument declared by the Sri Lanka Archaeological Department.
A drip ledged cave at Piyangala hermitage Caves at Piyangala Aranya
Attribution
1) Piyangala Rajamaha Vihara 2 by L Manju is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

References
1) Withanachchi, C. R., 2013. Pauranika Sthana Saha Smaraka: Ampara Distrikkaya (In Sinhalese). Department of Archaeology (Sri Lanka). p. 37.

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