Siri Perakumba Pirivena

Siri Perakumba Pirivena
Siri Perakumba Pirivena, also known as Siri Perakumba Piriven Maha Viharaya (Sinhala: කෝට්ටේ පැරකුම්බා පිරිවෙණ), is a Buddhist temple situated in Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte in Colombo District, Sri Lanka.

The temple is located in the area known as Gabadawatta (the land where stores were located) and the oral history says that the treasury of King Parakramabahu VI (1412-1467 A.D.) was kept here. It further states that this was the place where the Perakumba Pirivena was established by Parakramabahu VI. However, no archaeological evidence has been discovered so far to prove this oral history.

Thotagamuwe Sri Rahula Thera (1408-1491 A.D.), a Buddhist monk who is considered an eminent scholar who lived during the Kotte Period is said to have resided at Perakumba temple (Manathunga, 2016). During this period, Perakumba temple became one of the most popular monastic colleges in the country along with Padmavathi Pirivena at Keragala, Sunetradevi Pirivena at Pepiliyana, Vijayaba Pirivena at Totagamuwa and Siri Ganananda Pirivena at Veedagama.

The peripheral wall of Kotte Fort
According to historical documents, lord King Nissankamalla Alagakkonara built the fortress at Kotte for getting protection from foreign invasions. Completed in the 14th century, the fort is said to have consisted of thick strong walls, water moats, mud moats, and observation turrets. In 1415, King Parakramabahu VI (c.1412-1467 A.D.) named this fortress as his capital. However, European invasions and colonial rule coupled with the uprising known as Vijayaba Kollaya (1521 A.D.), caused the destruction of most parts of this fort.

Several parts of the peripheral wall of this ancient fortress are still visible at the premises of Siri Perakumba Pirivena (Rajapakshe et al., 2018). The remaining walls are about 6-8 feet wide and 5 feet high and have been built with 26 x 16-inch Kabok stones (laterite blocks).

Ura Keta Linda
An old type well known as "Ura Keta Linda" is found in the temple premises (Rajapakshe et al., 2018). Few wells belonging to this particular type have also been reported in nearby areas, situated outside but immediate vicinity of the ancient peripheral wall (Rajapakshe et al., 2018).

Other ruins
Two stone pillars that were unearthed during an exploratory excavation carried out in the monastery premises of Thotagamuwe Sri Rahula Thera, were brought and established in this temple premises by the Department of Archaeology in 1971 (Manathunga, 2016).

A protected site
The Perakumba Pirivena situated in the land belonging to lot no. 69 of Kotte Town Survey Plan No. 62 is an archaeological protected monument, declared by a government gazette notification published on 14 May 1971.

The Stupa at Siri Perakumba Pirivena The Bodhi-tree at Siri Perakumba Pirivena
1) Manathunga, S. B., 2016. Pauranika Sthana Saha Smaraka: Kolamba Distrikkaya (In Sinhala). Department of Archaeology (Sri Lanka). ISBN: 955-9159-39-9. p.85.
2) Rajapakshe, S.; Bandara, T. M. C.; Vanninayake, R. M. B. T. A. B. (Editors), 2018. Puravidya Sthana Namavaliya: Kolamba Distrikkaya (In Sinhala). Vol. I. Department of Archaeology (Sri Lanka). ISBN: 978-955-7457-19-2. p.2.
3) The Gazette notification. No: 14958. 14 May 1971.

Location Map
This page was last updated on 12 March 2023

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