Ruwanweliseya Slab Inscription of Gajabahu I

Ruwanweliseya Slab Inscription of Gajabahu I
Ruwanveliseya Dagoba Slab Inscription of Gajabahu I (114-136 A.D.) was discovered on the premises of Ruwanweliseya Stupa in Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka (Muller, 1984). It is presently on the display at the Anuradhapura Period gallery of Colombo National Museum.

The inscription contains six lines of writing and has been engraved on a slab of stone, measuring 7 ft. 6 in. by 2 ft. 6 in. by 5.5 in. (Ranawella, 2005). It records the foundation of a monastery named Dakini Abhaya Araba (Pali: Dakkhina Abhaya Arama) by King Gajabahu I (114-136 A.D.), the grandson of Vasabha and the son of the great King Tissa (Ranawella, 2005). Having performed the ceremony (of water pouring) with the golden vase he had granted the overload's share of income of (the tank) Varuvaki for the purpose of spreading carpets in the Uposatha-house of that temple (Paranavitana, 1983). The water tax (of the same tank) had also been given to supply the four monastic requisites to the monks living there (Paranavitana, 1983).

  • Ruwanveliseya Slab Inscription of Gajabahu I

    Period: 2nd-century A.D.
    Transcript: Sidha Vahaba rajaha manumaraka Tisa maharajaha puti maharaja Gayabahu gamini Abaya..........>>
    Citation: Ranawella, 2005

    Translation: Success! The Great King Gajabahu Gamini Abaya, the grandson of King Vasabha and son of the Great King Tissa..........>>

Eminent archaeologist Senarath Paranavitana had published his observations regarding this inscription as follows;
Of all the inscription of Gajabahu so far brought to light, this is the only one that refers to him with that epithet in addition to his full personal name of Gamini Abhaya. The Mahavamsa and Dipavamsa both refer to him as Gajabahuka-Gamini, omitting 'Abhaya' from the personal name. The occurrence of the epithet Gayabahu (Gajabahu) in a contemporary inscription gains in value when it is considered that the fame of king of a Ceylon of that name had reached literary circles in South India and the author of the Tamil poem Cilappatikaram makes him a contemporary of the Cera king Cenkuttuvan who, in his turn, is referred to in some early Tamil poems as the contemporary of the Cola king Karikala.
Citation: Paranavitana, 1983. p.86.
See also

1) Muller, E., 1984. Ancient Inscriptions in Ceylon. Asian Educational Services. New Delhi. p.27.
2) Paranavitana, S., 1983. Inscriptions of Ceylon, Late Brahmi Inscriptions, 2 (part 1). Archaeological Survey of Sri Lanka. pp.86-87.
3) Ranawella, S. (Ed.), 2005. Sinhala inscriptions in the Colombo National Museum: Spolia Zeylanica. Vol 42. (2005). Department of National Museums, Sri Lanka. pp.ix,1-2.

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This page was last updated on 14 January 2023

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