Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Naigala Raja Maha Viharaya

Naigala Viharaya
Naigala Raja Maha Viharaya is a Buddhist temple situated in Weeraketiya in Hambantota District, Sri Lanka.

History
Naigala Viharaya
The ruins of many ancient structures and monuments such as pillared buildings, Siri Pathul Gal (the Buddha's footprint), urinal stones, Korawak Gal (balustrades), molded stone slabs, Sandakada Pahana (moonstone), Yupa stones (stone pillar of a Stupa) have been found from the Naigala temple. A two-storied image house that belonging to the Anuradhapura period was excavated and conserved in 2013, by the Department of Archaeology. The building is quadrangle in shape and had been built as an image house of Gandhakuti tradition. The Buddha image is believed to be placed in the center of this building.

Among the ruins, there is a carved circular-shaped stone vessel. It is believed that this artifact could be one of vessels that used to hide the Tooth Relic of the Buddha by Sugala Devi during the Polonnaruwa period.

Besides the structural ruins, two rock inscriptions dating back to the 3rd-5th centuries A.D. have also been found in the temple premises.

Inscriptions
Naigala rock inscription no. 1 
Naigala rock inscriptions
This rock inscription was copied by the Department of Archaeology in 1929 (Dias, 1991).
Period: 3rd-4th centuries A.D.
Scripts: Later Brahmi
Language: Old Sinhala
Content: This inscription records about a gift of Kahapanas given for the festival of Ariyavansa at Kala-pavata (Kala Parvata) monastery. The inscription can not be read completely due to its worn condition.
Reference: Dias, 1991.

Naigala rock inscription no. 2
Naigala rock inscriptions
Period: 4th-5th centuries A.D.
Script: Later Brahmi
Language: Old Sinhala
Content: The slaves of the Kala-pavata (Kala Parvata) temple were freed from their compulsory service by the monk of Mahawaka who donated one hundred Kahavanu coins. The merit of this action was to be shared by all beings
References: The information board at the site by the Department of Archaeology and the Ministry of National Heritage. 

Modern image house
The modern image house of the Naigala temple has a number of paintings and sculptures belonging to the Kandyan style. It has been built in 1880.

A protected site
The ancient monuments of Naigala Purana Vihara (marked in the land plots 9c, 10 & 11 of the village plan no. 244) situated in the village of Agrahara in the Divisional Secretary’s Division of Weeraketiya are archaeological protected monuments, declared by a government gazette notification published on 4 June 2004.

Naigala temple Naigala Viharaya Naigala temple Naigala Viharaya
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References
1) Dias, M., 1991. Epigraphical notes (Nos 1 -18). Colombo: Department of Archaeology. pp. 71,75.
2) The Gazette of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, no: 1344. 4 June 2004. p.15.

Location Map

This page was last updated on 25 March 2020
For a complete tourist map follow this link: Lankapradeepa Tourist Map

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