Bingoda Aranya Senasanaya (Govinda Hela)

Bingoda Aranya Senasanaya
Bingoda Aranya Senasanaya or Bingoda Forest Hermitage (බිංගොඩ ආරණ්‍ය සේනාසනය) is an ancient Buddhist cave temple in Siyambalanduwa Divisional Secretary's Division in Monaragala District, Sri Lanka. The temple is located in Bowela village near the famous rock mountain Govinda Hela.

A large number of drip-ledged caves prepared as dwellings for the Sangha (Buddhist monks) are found at the site. Many of them contain Early Brahmi Inscriptions (3rd century B.C.-1st century A.D.) inscribed just below the drip ledges (Kataram).

Presently, many of the caves have been abandoned but a few of them are still being used by the temple monks. Several caves are totally in collapsed condition due to the results of natural and human activities. Remnants of original mud plaster and structures such as rubble walls can be seen in some caves.

A protected site
All the caves with drip-ledges and all the caves with Brahmi letters, all ruins of buildings and flight of rock steps in the territory of Bingoda Forest Hermitage are archaeological protected monuments, declared by a government gazette notification published on 16 August 2013.

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1) The Gazette of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, Extraordinary. no: 1823/73. 16 August 2013. p. 5A.

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This page was last updated on 6 December 2023

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