Sunday, November 10, 2019

Jathika Namal Uyana

Namal Uyana Rose Quartz Mountain
Jathika Namal Uyana is a famous ironwood forest and a large rose quartz mountain situated in the village of Ulpathgama at Galkiriyagama in Anuradhapura District, Sri Lanka. The site which was developed under the direction of Vanavasi Rahula Thera, is presently maintained under the authority of the Central Cultural Fund.

The site
Namal Uyana Rose Quartz Mountain
The Jathika Namal Uyana is situated in the Highland Series of crystalline rocks close to Vijayan-Highland Boundary (Mahinda, 2002). The exposed rose quartz deposit which is estimated to be over five hundred million years old (Mahinda, 2002) is believed to be the largest one of its kind found in the South Asian region (Wickramaratne & Ranawana, 2002). The site receives the dichotomous climate conditions of dryness associated with the Dry Zone and wet weather associated with the Wet Zone. However, the area including the Jathika Namal Uyana belongs to the Tropical Lowland Seasonal Rain Forest (Mahinda, 2002).

The site is totally extending in an area about 1200 hectares (Mahinda, 2002) and a portion of about 105 hectares near its northern boundary has a lushly grown Na-tree (Mesua ferrea) grove (Wickramaratne & Ranawana, 2002). Some suggest that this Na grove could be a horticultural garden with historical value (Mahinda, 2002; Wickramaratne & Ranawana, 2002). Several ancient buildings and monuments belonging to a Buddhist monastery or a similar complex are found scattered in an area about 24 hectares located within this Na grove (Wickramaratne & Ranawana, 2002).

Archaeological monuments
A number of archaeological monuments are found at the south-west boundary of the Namal Uyana forest reserve. They include a Stupa, a Bodhighara, a Uposathagara, ruins of foundations of buildings and rock-cut steps. Besides that, an "Attani Kanu" (a pillar inscription) is located in the middle of the road near the Ranawa Devurada Ranrada Viharaya, a Buddhist temple situated in close proximity to the Jathika Namal Uyana (see below Google Street view).
Namal Seya Stupa
Namal Seya Stupa
The ancient Stupa which has been built on a square-shaped terrace is completely conserved. The terrace is about 4-5 feet tall from the ground level and can be accessed through four entrances. The "Sandakada Pahana" (the moonstone) is visible at each entrance.

Bodhigharaya
Although there is no any Bodhi-tree today, the Bodhighara or Bodhi-tree shrine at Jathika Namal Uyana provides evidence for the presence of a Bodhi-tree in the past. The outer parapet of the Bodhighara which makes a square-shaped terrace is built of rose quartz. From the available archaeological evidence, this ancient structure is said to be a work belonging to the 8th century A.D.

Padhanagharaya
During the latter part of the Anuradhapura period, Padhanagharas became popular and were built in several places in Sri Lanka (such as Arankele, Ritigala, Batahirarama, and Veherabendigala) to accommodate the Buddhist monks who devoted themselves to meditation. A number of cubicles known as Padhanaghara are found in the Jathika Namal Uyana premises.

Gal Pathraya
A stone begging bowl type implement can be seen at the bottom of the rose quartz outcrop collecting the water flowing down from the mountain.

A protected site
  • An area of 24.111 hectares within the Jathika Namal Uyana was designated as an archaeological reserve on 12 November 2001, by a Gazette notification No. LDB 277/40 (Mahinda, 2002).
  • The Ranawa mountain or Namal Uyana was declared as a protected forest on 26 April 2005, by an Extraordinary Gazette notification no. 138/137.
The Gal Pathraya, Namal Uyana The Bodhigharaya, Namal Uyana The Seemamalakaya, Namal Uyana Jathika Namal Uyana
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References
1) Mahinda, W., 2002. A Preliminary Archaeological Study of the Jatika Namal Uyana. Annual Research Sessions, University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka. Vol. 7. p.45.
2) Wickramaratne, S.N. and Ranawana, K.B., 2002. A Preliminary Ecological Survey of the Jatika Namal Uyana, Galkiriyagama. Annual Research Sessions, University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka. Vol. 7. p.44.

Location Map
This page was last updated on 2 May 2020
For a complete tourist map follow this link: Lankapradeepa Tourist Map

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