Sunday, August 18, 2019

Thonigala Rock Inscriptions, Anamaduwa

Tonigala Rock Inscription - I
Two pre-Christian inscriptions known as Thonigala Rock Inscriptions are found inscribed on a low rock called Tonigala situated near Paramakanda Viharaya in Anamaduwa in Puttalam District, Sri Lanka. 

There are two long and large rock inscriptions at the site. The letters of both inscriptions are about a foot long and have been cut an inch deep in the rock, forming triangular grooves (Muller, 1883; Parker, 1909). The two inscriptions are located on the same rock-group about 100 m away from each other. Some parts of the second inscription have been destroyed by an attempt made to blast the rock by some officers of the Public Work Department in search of imaginary treasures (Paranavitana, 1970). Those parts are said to be on the inscription until 1936 (Paranavitana, 1970).

Tonigala Rock Inscription - I
Reign & period : Gamini Abhaya; 1st century A.D.
Language & script  :
Old Sinhala; Early Brahmi
Transcript: Parumaka Abaya puta parumaka 
Tisaha vapi Acagirika-Tisa pavatahi agata.....>>
Content :  The tank of the chief Tissa, son of the
chief Abhaya was  donated to the Sangha of the
four    quarters    present    and   absent,   in   the
monastery  of  Acchagirika  Tissa  Pabbata. The
great      King      Gamini      Abhaya     dedicated
Acchanagaraka  and  Tavirikiya - nagaraka  (two
villages) to the monastery. These  donations, the
chief Abhaya, caused to  be dedicated by the king
to  the Sangha  of the four  quarters, present  and
Tonigala Rock Inscription - I
Tonigala Rock Inscription - II Tonigala Rock Inscription - II
Reign & period   : Gamini Abhaya; 1st century A.D.
Language   : Old Sinhala
Script          : Early Brahmi
Transcript: Parumaka Abaya puta parumaka Tise niyate 
ima vapi Acagirika Tisa Pavatahi agata anagata catu.....>>
Content :  This tank has been donated by chief  Tissa, the
son  of chief  Abhaya to  the Sangha  of  the  four quarters
present and absent, in the monastery of Acchagirika Tissa
Pabbata.   Two   places   named   Accha  -  nagaraka   and
Tavirikiya  -  nagaraka    have   also   been   donated.   The
monastery  was  dedicated  (to  the  Sangha)  by  the chief
Tissa, son of the chief Abhaya.
Reference : Paranavitana, 1970.; The information board at
the site by the Department of Archaeology and the Ministry
of National Heritage.
The name: Gamini Abhaya
Muller, the author of "Ancient Inscriptions in Ceylon", believes that the name Gamini Abaya which is mentioned in both inscriptions, to be either Duttagamini (King Dutugemunu: 161-137 B.C.) or Vattagamini [(King Valagamba: 88-76 B.C) Muller, 1883].
The persons mentioned in the inscription are two: Tisa, son of Abhaya and Gamini Abhaya. On account of the form of the character, which is the oldest we meet in Ceylon, I take this Gamini Abhaya to be either Dutthagamini, 161-137 B.C., or Wattagamini, 88-76 B.C.; but the title Dewanapiya, beloved of the gods, rather points to the latter; he was the youngest of three sons of King Saddhatissa, the brother and successor of Dutthagamini.
Citation: Muller, 1883. p.25.
According to the opinion of Parker (1909), these inscriptions have been cut by King Duttha-Gamini, who reigned from 161-137 B.C. (Parker, 1909). Nicholas also believes the same idea (Nicholas, 1963). However, Paranavitana (1970) suggests that the name Gamani Abhaya in these inscriptions may represent King Vattagamani Abhaya who is recorded to have granted lands to Buddhist temples (Paranavitana, 1970). 

A protected site
The Thonigala rock inscriptions situated in the Grama Niladhari Division of Thonigala in the Divisional Secretary’s Division of Anamaduwa are archaeological protected monuments, declared by a government gazette notification published on 23 January 2009.

Thonigala Wewa .
1) Muller, E., 1883. Ancient Inscriptions in Ceylon. London. p.25.
2) Nicholas, C. W., 1963. Historical topography of ancient and medieval Ceylon. Journal of the Ceylon Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society, New Series (Vol VI). Special Number: Colombo. Royal Asiatic Society (Ceylon Branch). p.88.
3) Paranavitana, S., 1970. Inscription of Ceylon (Vol. I). Department of Archaeology Ceylon. pp.lxii, 82.
4) Parker, H., 1909. Ancient Ceylon: An account of the aborigines and of part of the early civilisation. Luzac & Co. London. pp.438-440.
5) The Gazette of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka: No: 1586. 23 January 2009. p.107

Location Map
This page was last updated on 6 November 2020
For a complete tourist map follow this link: Lankapradeepa Tourist Map


Post a Comment