Ovagiriya Archaeological Site (Ampara)

Not to be confused with Ovagiriya Archaeological Site (Umangala)

Ovagiriya Archaeological Site

Ovagiriya (Sinhala: ඔවාගිරිය පුරාවිද්‍යා ස්ථානය) is a Buddhist archaeological site situated in the village of Polwatta in Ampara District, Sri Lanka. The site can be reached by travelling along the Ampara-Inginiyagala road approximately 19 km distance from Ampara town.

This site was in a ruined state until the surrounding area was developed by the Gal Oya Development Scheme. At the request of the Gal Oya Development Board, several conservation works were done at the site by the Department of Archaeology.


Hidden ruins at Ovagiriya, Ampara

The history of this site goes back to the early Anuradhapura Period. Ruins of ancient buildings and structures, stone pillars, a Stupa, an image house, the flight of steps, Korawak Gal (wingstones), Muragal (guard stones), Sri Pathul Gal (Buddha's footprints), stone bases and flat tiles are found at the site (Withanachchi, 2013).

Image house

The image house which presently houses a standing Buddha image is considered to be a work of the early Anuradhapura period. The dilapidated structure was exposed by excavation in 2002 and subsequently conserved. The stone Buddha statue which is about 11.5 feet in height was found headless and handless and was conserved by the Archaeological Department in 2008.


The Stupa of Ovagiriya temple also belongs to the early Anuradhapura period. It was excavated by the Archaeological Department in 2012. A flight of steps and fragments of Korawak Gal and Muragal have been found from the premises of the Stupa.

The Buddha Statue of Owagiriya, Ampara Yantra stone and other artifacts in the ruined image house, Owagiriya Ruins of ancient buildings, Owagiriya Ruins of ancient buildings


1) Withanachchi, C. R., 2013. Pauranika Sthana Saha Smaraka: Ampara Distrikkaya (In Sinhala). Department of Archaeology (Sri Lanka). ISBN: 955-9159-44-5. p.26.

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This page was last updated on 14 January 2023

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