Buddhism and Sri Lanka

According to Sri Lankan chronicles, Buddhism was introduced to Sri Lanka in the 3rd century B.C. by Arhant Mahinda, during the reign of King Devanampiya Tissa.

Sri Lankan Inscriptions

The earliest trace of epigraphy in South Asia is said to be found in Sri Lanka. A piece of pottery, dated to circa the 4th century B.C. has been discovered from the Anuradhapura citadel.

Architecture of Sri Lanka

The architecture of Sri lanka has a long history and shows diversed forms and styles, mainly infuenced by their religions and traditional beliefs.

Sri Lankan Antiquities

Inherited from the past, Sri Lanka has a large number of antiques with cultural and historical significance which reflects the glory of past era.

Visit Sri Lanka

Located in the northern waters of the Indian Ocean, Sri Lanka is an island blessed with a large number of attractons which has made the country an ideal destination for the tourism.

Sunday, April 26, 2020

Athkanda Raja Maha Viharaya, Kurunegala

Kurunegala Athkanda Viharaya
Athkanda Raja Maha Viharaya is a Buddhist temple located in the vicinity of Kurunegala town in Kurunegala District, Sri Lanka.

History
The history of the establishment of Athkanda Viharaya is obscure (Dhammadassi & Jinarathana, 2016). However, a name that is equal to this temple has been recorded in several chronicles in the country such as Mahavamsa, Sahassavattuppakaranaya, Saddharmalankaraya, Rasavahini, and Vamsattappakasini (Dhammadassi & Jinarathana, 2016). According to the details given Mahavamsa, it is assumed that this temple may have been established during the reign of King Suratissa [(247-237 B.C.) Anuradha & Kumari, 2015; Dhammadassi & Jinarathana, 2016]. 

The cave shrineThis temple is believed to have received the royal patronage of prince Buvanekabahu and Bosat Vijayabahu during the Dambadeniya period, (Dhammadassi & Jinarathana, 2016). The Asgiri Thalpatha reveals that the Buddhist monks who were traveling to Kandy on the arrangements of King Parakramabahu IV (c.1305-1326 A.D.) had been accommodated at Athkanda Vihara in Kurunegala until king's officials were able to take them to Asgiri monastery at Senkadagala (Dhammadassi & Jinarathana, 2016). Also, a few records known as Thalkola Seetu provide some details about the temple and its in-charge monks during the 18-19th centuries A.D. (Dhammadassi & Jinarathana, 2016).

Folklore 
Locals believe that the Jathaka stories were composed in a cave at this historic temple (Dhammadassi & Jinarathana, 2016). This local belief is underpinned by the Korawakgala (the balustrade) at the entrance of the cave temple no. 1 in which a unique carving that depicts a Buddhist monk writing a book is found (Dhammadassi & Jinarathana, 2016).

The temple
There are two drip-ledged caves at the temple premises. Of them, the cave temple no. 1 is the largest and the main Buddhist shrine. It contains staues of Buddha and various paintings belonging to the Kandyan tradition as well as to the modern period. The cave is divided into two sections: the inner shrine and the outer part. Three doors provide entrance to the inner shrine and the middle door is guarded by two doormen of Nagas (Anuradha & Kumari, 2015).

The inscription 
A rock inscription belonging to the 19th century A.D. has been found adjacent to the cave temple no. 1 (Dhammadassi & Jinarathana, 2016). It records about certain lands donated to the temple (Dhammadassi & Jinarathana, 2016).

A protected site
The Buddha shrine and other archaeological remains in Athkanda Raja Maha Vihara situated in the Kurunegala Divisional Secretariat Division are archaeological protected monuments, declared by a government gazette notification published on 7 December 2001.

The preaching hall The balustrade
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References
1) Anuradha, R.K.S.; Kumari, A.S., 2015. Pauranika Sthana Saha Smaraka: Kurunegala Distrikkaya (In Sinhala). Department of Archaeology (Sri Lanka). ISBN: 955-9159-37-2. pp.5-7.
2) Dhammadassi, A.; Jinarathana, K., 2016. Aithihasika Ethkanda Rajamaha Viharaya (In Sinhala). Published by the authors. ISBN: 978-955-41831-0-0.pp.12-30, 50-51.
3) The Gazette of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. no: 1214. 8 July 2005.

Location Map

This page was last updated on 26 April 2020
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A short note for local school students
ඇත්කඳ විහාරය, කුරුණෑගල

ඇත්කඳ රජමහා විහාරය ශ්‍රී ලංකාවේ කුරුණෑගල නගරයේ පිහිටි විහාරස්ථානයකි.

ඉතිහාසය
ඇත්කඳ විහාරයේ ආරම්භය පිළිබඳ තතු අවිනිශ්චිතය. කෙසේනමුදු දේශීය ඉතිහාස හා සාහිත්‍ය මූලාශ්‍රයන් සමහරෙක (මහාවංශය, සහස්සවත්ථුප්පකරණය, සද්ධර්මලංකාරය, රසවාහිනිය, හා වංසත්ථප්පකාසිනිය වැනි) හස්ථිකන්ද විහාරය යන නාමය සඳහන්ව තිබෙන අතර එය සිංහලයෙන් ඇත්කඳ විහාරය වශයෙන් සැළකිය හැක. මහාවංශයේ දැක්වෙන කරුණු අනූව මෙම විහාරය සූරතිස්ස රජ දවස ඉදිවන්නට ඇතැයි උපකල්පනය කෙරේ.

දඹදෙණි සමයේදී මෙම විහාරයට බුවනෙකබාහු හා බෝසත් විජයබාහු යන කුමරුවන්ගේ අනුග්‍රහය හිමිවන්නට ඇතැයි විශ්වාස කෙරේ. අස්ගිරි තල්පත හෙළිකරන ආකාරයට 4වන පරාක්‍රමබාහු රජුගේ සංවිධානය පරිදි නුවර දක්වා වැඩමකරමින් සිටි භික්ෂූන් වහන්සේලා කුරුණෑගල ඇත්කඳ විහාරයෙහි නවාතැන් ගෙන තිබෙයි. එසේම තල්කොල සීට්ටු කිහිපයකින් විහාරස්ථානයේ හා එහි භාරකාර හිමිවරුන් පිළිබඳව යම් තොරතුරු ප්‍රමාණයක් හෙළිදරව් කරයි.

ජනප්‍රවාදගත විස්තර අනූව පන්සිය පනස් ජාතක පොත රචනා කර තිබෙන්නේ මෙම විහාරයෙහි ප්‍රධාන ගල්ලෙන තුලදීය. එම ලෙන් විහාරයට ප්‍රවිශ්ඨ වන තැනහී කොරවක්ගල මත භික්ෂූන් වහන්සේ නමක විසින් ග්‍රන්ථයක් රචනා කරන අයුරු කැටයම් කොට තිබේ.

පුරාවිද්‍යා ස්මාරකය
කුරුණෑගල ප්‍රාදේශීය ලේකම් කොට්ඨාශයට අයත් ඇත්කඳ විහාරයෙහි පිහිටි පැරණි බුද්ධ මන්දිරය සහ අනෙකුත් පුරාවිද්‍යා සාධක නටඹුන් 2001 දෙසැම්බර් 7 දින ප්‍රකාශයට පත් රජයේ ගැසට් නිවේදනය මගින් ආරක්ෂිත පුරාවිද්‍යා ස්මාරක ලෙස නම් කොට ඇත.

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Tissamaharama potsherd with alleged Tamil Brahmi inscription

Tissamaharama potsherd with alleged Tamil Brahmi inscription
An immense number of pottery shreds (more than one hundred) with legends in Brahmi characters has been unearthed throughout the excavations of almost twenty years at Tissamaharama in Hambantota District, Sri Lanka (Falk, 2014). Of those, one piece of pottery carrying a legend of Brahmi characters came into the attention of local academicians when it was interpreted as a Tamil Brahmi inscription by a foreign scholar (Ragupathy, 2010).

There are differences of opinion among scholars about the reading and interpretation of this inscription. Mahadevan commented on this in 2010 and brought it into the focus of the academicians (Mahadevan, 2010). Besides Mahadevan, several other scholars including Ragupathy (2010), Somadeva (2010), Falk (2014) and Pushparatnam (2014) have also expressed their views on this inscription. Although Ragupathy partially followed the path of Mahadevan, other scholars including Somadeva (2010), Falk (2014), and Pushpanatham (2014) have tried to publish their own interpretations and views on this finding. As a result of that, the initial interpretations by Mahadevan have become doubtful and controversial today.

The excavations at Tissamaharama were conducted by the Department of Archaeology together with German Archaeology scholars. The aforesaid potsherd was recovered from a strata that belongs to the 300-200 B.C. (Falk, 2014).

Iravatham Mahadevan's interpretation
Iravatham Mahadevan (1930-2018), a veteran epigraphist from India, published information about this finding along with a decipherment in an article titled "An Epigraphic Perspective on the Antiquity of Tamil" appeared in "The Hindu" on 24th June 2 (Mahadevan, 2010).
Sri Lanka: Tamils have been living in the northern and eastern parts of the island from time immemorial. Several small fragments of pottery with a few Tamil-Brahmi letters scratched on them have been found from the Jaffna region. However, a much more sensational discovery is a pottery inscription from an excavation conducted at Tissamaharama on the southeastern coast of Sri Lanka. A fragment of a high-quality black and red-ware flat dish inscribed in Tamil in the Tamil-Brahmi script was found in the earliest layer. It was provisionally dated to around 200 BCE by German scholars who undertook the excavation. The inscription reads tiraLi muRi, which means “written agreement of the assembly” (See Figure 4). The inscription bears testimony to the presence in southern Sri Lanka of a local Tamil mercantile community organised in a guild to conduct inland and maritime trade as early as at the close of the 3rd century BCE.
According to the view of Mahadevan, this piece of pottery contains a Tamil inscription inscribed with Tamil-Brahmi scripts. Mahadevan's reading of the inscription is given below;
Tissamaharama potsherd, reading by Mahadevan

Identification of scripts
The scripts appearing on this potsherd were identified as Tamil-Brahmi by Mahadevan. His view was accepted by Ragupathy (Ragupathy, 2010) but opposed by Somadeva who identified them as ordinary Brahmi scripts found in Sri Lanka (Somadeva, 2010). Folk introduced this artifact as a broken piece of a dining plate with an alleged Tamil legend and considered all the letters as Brahmi scripts (Falk, 2014).

The identification of the scripts as Tamil-Brahmi was majorly depended on the last letter of the legend. Which is, according to some scholars, similar to the shape of the Dravidian alveolar retroflex of 'r', one of few unique scripts that is occasionally found in the Tamil-Brahmi inscriptions in Southern India. However, scholars who have made doubts on this fact have raised new questions (Falk, 2014) and have shown some points that discouraging the Mahadevan's view (Somadeva, 2010). Falk who ascertained that Mahadevan has taken the last script as alveolar retroflex 'r+i' (Falk recognizes this letter as 'da'.), tended to show that there is an incoherence with the shape of that letter. According to Falk, the form of the 'ra' with a forked lower end always starts with a C-bend above, but deviating from that the last letter of this potsherd has an additional vertical line above the C-bend (Falk, 2014). Somadeva who also recognized this last letter as the 'da' tried to justify his identification by showing some examples found from the local Brahmi inscriptions (Somadeva, 2010).

The direction of the reading
Mahadevan's reading of this inscription in both ways: right to left and left to right, was accepted by Ragupathy (Ragupathy, 2010) but dissented by others (Falk, 2014; Pushparatnam, 2014; Somadeva, 2010). However, Ragupathy emphasized that the way of the writing in this potsherd needs to be investigated as it was the first time, a single legend is partly read from right to left and partly read from left to right, keeping symbols in the middle (Ragupathy, 2010).

According to the view of Pushparatnam, there is no proper reason to write some inscription from left to right and to write other inscription from right to left (Pushparatnam, 2014). He further says that there are no evidences to prove these dual trends of writing inscriptions on pottery (Pushparatnam, 2014).

The reading
Mahadevan read the inscriptions as "thiraLi muRi":  "written agreement of the assembly" (Mahadevan, 2010). He pointed out this as an evidence for the presence in southern Sri Lanka of a local Tamil mercantile community organized in a guild to conduct inland and maritime trade at the close of the 3rd century B.C. (Mahadevan, 201). However, all the other scholars who tried to read this potsherd later didn't agree with this reading of Mahadevan (Falk, 2014; Pushparatnam, 2014; Ragupathy, 2010; Somadeva, 2010).

Ragupathi pointed out that it is doubtful to assume that traders had written their business deal on a small pottery of day-to-day use (Ragupathy, 2010). Also, he argued that the word "muRi" that stands for "arrangement" is begun to appear in inscriptions for the first time since the 7th century A.D. (Pushparatnam, 2014; Ragupathy, 2010).

The validity of the interpretations (of scripts, language, and reading) by Mahadevan was critically reviewed by Falk in his academic work published in 2014;
Mahadevan took letters 4 and 5 as symbols, placed inside a running text as nowhere else. There are two symbols in Paranavitana 1970 nos. 1051 and 1052, but both end a full sentence. Mahadevan took the l+i+u as a miswritten Dravidian alveaolar l+u→lu, and he took the d+i+u as alveolar retroflex ra+i. But the form of the ra with a forked lower end always starts with a C-bend above (Mahadevan 2003: 221 chart 5B), not with a vertical as our letter da does.
That means that Mahadevan’s reading of a retrograde Tamil text (lirati →tirali + + murī) with its alleged meaning “Written agreement of the assembly”) is excluded as it presupposes too many exceptions: l+u+i hardly stand for li; if ti would have to be read, the letter would have been inscribed retrograde with an -i- hook placed on top of the vertical instead of lower down the vertical as in li, ni and di; ra would have a form which does not yet exist. Symbols in the middle of a sentence are unknown, as are Brāhmī texts on vessels written from right to left. His “text” constructs a word (tirali) which is not found anywhere else and the alleged meaning has absolutely nothing to do with a dining plate.
Citation: Falk, 2014. p. 65.
Ponnampalam Ragupathy's interpretation
An article by Dr. P. Ragupathy was appeared in the TamilNet website under the title "An inscribed piece of pottery from Tissamaharama", on 28 July 2010 (Ragupathy, 2010). In this article, Ragupathi agreed with Mahadevan's identification on the scripts, language, and reading directions but inclined to derive a new and proper reading than him (Ragupathy, 2010). By using long explanations and derivations, Ragupathy showed that "muRi" and "thiraLi" both can have many meanings in the Tamil language and therefore, it may be more appropriate to consider the meaning of the word "muRi" as a measuring utensil or a standard cubic measure while the meaning of the "thiraLi" as an equipment to amass (Ragupathy, 2010). According to Ragupathy, the "tiraLi muRi" may also mean "a mould for cooked rice" or "a measure for rice balls". Further, it could also be interpreted as "the vessel specified for the purpose of serving rice portions" (Ragupathy, 2010).

Deviating from the conclusion by Mahadeva, Ragupathy finally thought that this potsherd may not perhaps mean the presence of a Tamil trade guild but means the presence of ordinary Tamil speaking people in the population (Ragupathy, 2010).

Raj Somadeva's interpretation
By publishing an article on a local Sinhala newspaper, Prof. Raj Somadeva tried to convince that the inscription appears on the potsherd is Brahmi and not Tamil-Brahmi as interpreted by Mahadevan  (Somadeva, 2010). He read the inscription from left to right and suggested a new interpretation by showing local epigraphic evidence (Somadeva, 2010).

Tissamaharama potsherd, reading by Somadeva
.
Harry Falk's interpretation
Harry Falk has interpreted the inscription on this potsherd in a more careful manner. He describes this artifact as a piece of a dining plate with an alleged Tamil legend (Falk, 2014). Considering the letters appear on the potsherd as Brahmi, he showed that the only single meaningful word that could be extracted from the inscription is Shamuda, if it is read as a standard Ceylonese Prakrit in ordinary Brahmi running left to the right (Falk, 2014). He further thinks that the original inscription on it may have been enhanced by the owner or someone else (Falk, 2014).
I suspect that after śamuda was written, that either the owner or someone else “enhanced” the legend with vowel signs at the da, then to the left of the śa and then added more and more letters to the left of śa, first na+i+u+u, then a straight ra with -i and with a stroke slanting to the left, then the wavy ra, then la with -i and -u. All additions with no meaning at all.
Strange as the case is, it is not singular. One more sherd from Tissamaharama provides such “enhancements”:
Citation: Falk, 2014. p.65.
Tissamaharama potsherd, reading by Falk
.
Pushparatnam's interpretation
Pushparatnam tended to read this inscription from left to right (Pushparatnam, 2014). He read it as "Pulaitti muRi" and showed that the second letter from left has a unique characteristic of Tamil language (Pushparatnam, 2014). He considered Pulaitti as a name of a person who probably the maker or the possessor of the pottery and Muri as the vessel or container belonging to Pulaitti (Pushparatnam, 2014).

However, the sketch drawn by Pushparatnam is seemed to be a corrupted version of the original graffiti (inscription) that appears on the potsherd.

Tissamaharama potsherd, reading by Pushparatnam
.
Propagation
The discovery of this potsherd as well as its legend read by Mahadevan were strangely highlighted in a in several websites on the internet. Just three days after the publication by Mahadevan, TamilNet which is described as a Tamil nationalist and pro-LTTE website (Fuglerud, 2009) published an article titled "Tamil Brahmi inscription found in Tissamaharama" on 27 June 2010. In this article, they attempted to gain an academic approach to hint about their Tamil homeland concept (in Sri Lanka) to others by pointing out some false information (Somadeva, 2010). By the time, only a year had passed since the Sri Lankan government forces had defeated the LTTE, a Tamil secessionist group designated as a terrorist organization by a number of countries (Van de Voorde, 2005).

References
1) Falk, H., 2014. Owners’ Graffiti on Pottery from Tissamaharama. Zeitschrift für Archäologie Aussereuropäischer Kulturen. Wiesbaden: Reichert Verlag, pp.45-94.
2) Fuglerud, Ø., 2009. Fractured sovereignty: The LTTE’s state-building in an interconnected world. Spatialising Politics: Culture and Geography in Post-Colonial Sri Lanka. p.195.
3) Mahadevan, I., 2010. "An epigraphic perspective on the antiquity of Tamil ". The Hindu (published on 24 June 2010).
4) Pushparatnam, P., 2014. Tamil Brahmi Inscription Belonging to 2200 years ago, Discovered by German Archaeological Team in Southern Sri Lanka. Jaffna University International Research Conference. pp.541-545
5) Ragupathy, P., 2010. "An inscribed piece of pottery from Tissamaharama". Tamilnet. (published on 28 June 2010).
6)  Somadeva, R., 2010. තිස්සමහාරාම කුරුටු ලිපියේ ජර්මානු කියැවීම ශාස්ත්‍රීය නොමග යැවීමක්ද? (In Sinhala). Dinithi: Vol. 1: Part IV. ISSN 2012-7189. pp.2-5.
7) Van de Voorde, C., 2005. Sri Lankan terrorism: Assessing and responding to the threat of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). Police Practice and Research, 6(2), pp.181-199.
This page was last updated on 21 April 2020
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Thursday, April 16, 2020

Tamil Inscriptions in Sri Lanka

More than one hundred and fifty Tamil inscriptions originating from the Anuradhapura Period have been recorded in Sri Lanka (Pathmanathan, 2006). Most of them are found from Trincomalee, Polonnaruwa, Anuradhapura, Kurunegala, Mannar, and Ampara districts (Pathmanathan, 2006). However, the percentage of the number of Tamil inscription in Sri Lanka is considerably low when it compare to the amount of Sinhala inscriptions recorded so far in the country.

Most of Sri Lankan Tamil inscriptions have been dated in the regnal years of Sinhalese kings and South Indian Cholas. The major proportion of these inscriptions belongs to the 11th and 12th centuries A.D. (Pathmanathan, 2006).
This is an incomplete list prepared by "Lanka Pradeepa".

Controversial/doubtful interpretations
Following two inscriptions contain several Brahmi letters that, according to some scholars, are Tamil Brahmi scripts (Pushparatnam, 2014; Raghupathy, 1987). However, according to the view of other scholars, these are Brahmi inscriptions of Sinhala Prakrit (Somadeva, 1998; Somadeva, 2010).

No. Inscription Remarks References
1 Anaikoddai seal
(Jaffna District)
Dated to centuries B.C.
Early Anuradhapura period
Raghupathy, 1987;
Somadeva, 1998
2 Tissamaharama Brahmi inscription
(Hambantota District)
Dated to centuries B.C.
Early Anuradhapura period
Pushparatnam, 2014;
Somadeva, 2010

Anuradhapura Period (377 B.C. - 1017 A.D.)


Chola-occupied Period (c.1017 - 1055 A.D.)
Chola period (993-1070 A.D.): Anuradhapura Kingdom was conquested and occupied during this period by South Indian Chola Empire. A large number of Tamil inscriptions in Sri Lanka belong to this time period.

No. Inscription Remarks References
1 Nilaveli slab inscription
(Trincomalee District)
10th-11th century A.D.
(Rajaraja I - Rajendra I)
Gunasingam, 1975
2 Koneswaram Chola inscription
(Trincomalee District)
10th-11th centuries A.D.
(Rajaraja I)
Gunasingam, 1975
3 Tirukketisvaram inscription of Rajaraja I
(Mannar District)
10th-11th centuries A.D.
(Rajaraja I)
Pathmanathan, 2005
4/5 Two inscriptions of Rajendra I, Tirukketisvaram
Both are written in the same pillar
(Mannar District)
11th century A.D.
(Rajendra I)
Pathmanathan, 2005
6/7 Two inscriptions of Rajendra I, Velgam Vehera
Both are written in the same slab
(Trincomalee District)
11th century A.D.
(12th year of Rajendra I)
Veluppillai, 1971
8 Fragmentary inscriptions of Rajendra I, Velgam Vehera
Inscriptions are in three fragments
(Trincomalee District)
11th century A.D.
(Rajendra I)
Veluppillai, 1971
9 Rajendra II inscription, Colombo Museum
Inscriptions are in three fragments
(Anuradhapura District ?)
11th century A.D.
(2nd year of Rajendra II)
Pathmanathan, 2005
10/11 Two inscriptions at Siva Devale No. 2
(Polonnaruwa District)
11th century A.D.
(??)
Pathmanathan, 1987
12 Siva Devale No. 2, Vanavanmatevi-isvaram inscription
(Polonnaruwa District)
11th century A.D.
(Adhirajendra Deva)
Pathmanathan, 1987
13 Atakada inscription
(North Central Province)
11th-12th centuries A.D.
(Probably Rajaraja I)
Veluppillai, 1971
14-
16
Three inscriptions at Velgam Vehera
(Trincomalee District)
11th-12th centuries A.D. Veluppillai, 1971

Polonnaruwa Period (c.1055-1232 A.D.)

No. Inscription Remarks References
1 Vahalkada slab inscription of Ainnurruvar
(Anuradhapura District)
11th century A.D.
(Ainnurruvar - A South Indian merchant guild)
Veluppillai, 1971
2 Palamottai Tamil slab inscription
(Trincomalee District)
12th century A.D.
(42th year of Vijayabahu I)
Paranavitana, 1934
3 Velaikkara Slab Inscription
(Polonnaruwa District)
12th century A.D.
(After the death of Vijayabahu I)
Wickremasinghe, 1928
4 Nainativu Tamil Slab Inscription
(Jaffna District)
12th century A.D.
(Issued by Parakramabahu I)
Indrapala, 1963
5 Rankoth Vehera Velaikkaran inscription of Jayabahu I
(Polonnaruwa District)
12th century A.D.
(During or after Jayabahu I)
Veluppillai, 1971
6/7 Two Budumuttava Vihara pillars of Jayabahu I
(Kurunegala District)
12th century A.D.
(8th year of Jayabahu I)
Paranavitana, 1933
8 Mahakirindegama pillar inscription
(?)
12th century A.D.
(28th year of Jayabahu I)
Veluppillai, 1971
9 Moragahawela pillar inscription
(Anuradhapura District)
12th century A.D.
(Issued by Gajabahu II; dated to 28th year of Jayabahu I)
Pillai, 1960
10 Hingurakdamana Tamil pillar inscription
(Polonnaruwa District)
12th century A.D.
(Issued by Gajabahu II; dated to 40th year of Jayabahu I)
Pathmanathan, 1976
11 Mankanay pillar inscription of Gajabahu II
(Trincomalee District)
12th century A.D.
(Issued by Gajabahu II; dated to 43rd year of Jayabahu I)
Pathmanathan, 1995
Pillay, 1962
12 Siva Devale No. 1 stone post
(Polonnaruwa District)
12th century A.D.
(Gajabahu II)
Bell, 1907
13 Panduwasnuwara Tamil Slab Inscription
(Kurunegala District)
12th century A.D.
(5th  year of Nissanka Malla)
Pillay, 1960
14 Padaviya slab inscription of Ainnurruvar
(Anuradhapura District)
12th century A.D.
(Ainnurruvar - A South Indian merchant guild)
Veluppillai, 1971
15 Viharehinna slab inscription of Ainnurruvar
(Matale District)
12th century A.D.
(Ainnurruvar - A South Indian merchant guild)
Veluppillai, 1971
16 Budumuttava Vihara Virakkoti slab inscription
(Kurunegala District)
12th century A.D.
(Virakkoti - A South Indian merchant community)
Pathmanathan, 1994
17 Rankoth Vehera Velaikkaran Matevan inscription
(Polonnaruwa District)
13th century A.D. Pathmanathan, 2004

Dambadeniya Period (c.1232-1345 A.D.)

No. Inscription Remarks References
1 Mehiyalla Tamil inscription
(Mallawapitiya, Kurunegala District)
13th-14th centuries A.D. Veluppillai, 1971

Gampola Period (c.1345-1410 A.D.)

No. Inscription Remarks References
1 Kotagama Tamil Slab Inscription
(Kegalle District)
14th century A.D.
(Arya Cakravartis of Jaffna ?)
Pathmanathan, 2005

Kotte Period (c.1410-1597 A.D.)

No. Inscription Remarks References
1 Tirukkovil pillar inscription
(Ampara District)
14th-15th centuries A.D.
(10th year of Vijayabahu: assumed to be between Vijayabahu V & Vijayabahu VI))
Veluppillai, 1971
2 Galle Trilingual slab inscription
(Galle District)
15th century A.D.
(7th year of Yung Lo, China)
Paranavitana, 1933
3 Naimmana Tamil Slab Inscription
(Matara District)
15th century A.D.
(10th year of Parakramabahu VI)
Pathmanathan, 2005
4 Munnesvaram temple inscription
(Puttalam District)
15th century A.D.
(38th year of Parakramabahu VI)
Veluppillai, 1971
5 Kalutara Tamil Pillar Inscription
(Kalutara District)
15th century A.D. Veluppillai, 1971
6 Tamil Pillar Inscription, Vijayabahu VI, Colombo Museum
(Unknown)
16th centuries A.D.
(4th year of Vijayabahu VI)
Pathmanathan, 2005
7 Tirukkovil Tamil slab inscription
(Cittira Velayuta Swami Kovil, Ampara District)
16th centuries A.D.
(10th year of Vijayabahu VI)
Veluppillai, 1971
8 Tamil inscription at Fort Fredrick
(Trincomalee District)
16th century A.D. Codrington, 1927

Kandyan Period (c.1591-1815 A.D.)

No. Inscription Remarks References
1 Verugal inscription
(Trincomalee District)
After the 17th century A.D. Veluppillai, 1971
2/3 Two inscriptions from Tirukkovil
(Subrahmanya temple, Ampara District)
18th century A.D. Veluppillai, 1971

British Ceylon (1815-1948 A.D.)

No. Inscription Remarks References
1 Tamil inscription on a unique conch, Colombo Museum
(??)
Pre-British period Pathmanathan, 2005
2 Kalpitiya Dutch Fort cemetery inscription
(Puttalam District)
19th century A.D.
(A tombstone)
Veluppillai, 1971

References
1) Bell, H.C.P., 1907. Archaeological Survey of Ceylon: North-Central, Northern and Central Provinces. Annual Report - 1907. p.37.
2) Codrington, H.W., 1927. The inscription at Fort Frederick, Trincomalee. The Journal of the Ceylon Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain & Ireland, 30(80), pp.448-451.
3) Gunasingam, S., 1975. A Tamil slab inscription at Nilaveli. The Ceylon Journal of the Humanities. Colombo. pp.61–71.
4) Indrapala, K., 1963. The Nainativu Tamil Inscription of Parakramabahu I. University of Ceylon Review. Vol. XXI; No, I. University of Ceylon. Peradeniya. pp.63-70.
5) Paranavitana, S., 1933. Two Tamil pillar inscriptions from Budumuttava. The Tamil inscription on the Galle Trilingual Slab. Epigraphia Zeylanica: Vol. III. pp.302-312-,331-341.
6) Paranavitana, S., 1934. A Tamil slab inscription from Palamottai. Epigraphia Zeylanica being lithic and other inscription of Ceylon: Vol. IV. Archaeological survey of Ceylon. London. pp.191-196.
7) Pathmanathan, S., 1976. The Tamil Inscription from Hingurakdamana.Vidyodaya J. Art.Sci. Litt., Vol 5 Nos.1 & 2. pp56-61.
8) Pathmanathan, S., 1987. Hinduism in Sri Lanka (Circa AD 1000-1250): Indian Influences on the Development of Saivism. p.53.
9) Pathmanathan, S., 1994. The Tamil Slab Inscription of the Virakkoti at Budumuttawa, Nikaweratiya, Urbanization at Magala. pp.15-30.
10) Pathmanathan, S., 1995. The Tamil Pillar Inscription from Mankanay. pp.31-41.
11) Pathmanathan, S., 2004. New Light on the Decline of Polonnaruwa (1196-1215): The Tamil Pillar Inscription From Rankot Vihara. Proceedings of the Peradeniya University Research Sessions. Sri Lanka. Vol. 9. November 10. 2004 . p.31.
12) Pathmanathan, S., 2005. Tamil inscriptions in the Colombo National Museum: Spolia Zeylanica. Vol 47. (2010). Department of National Museums, Sri Lanka, pp.1-14,15-22,23-28,39-52,69-74,75-78,79-85.
13) Pathmanathan, S., 2006. இலங்கைத் தமிழ்ச் சாசனங்கள்: Tamil inscriptions in Sri Lanka (In Tamil). Department of Hindu Religious and Cultural Affairs. ISBN: 955-9233-10-6. pp. ix-x.
14) Pillai, K. K., 1960. A pillar inscription from Moragahawela: University of Ceylon Review (Vol: XVIII Nos 1 & 2). Ceylon University Press. pp. 46-49.
15) Pillay, K. K., 1960. A Tamil inscription from Panduvasnuvara: University of Ceylon Review (Vol: XVIII Nos 3 & 4). Ceylon University Press. pp. 157-162.
16) Pillai, K.K., 1962. Mankanai inscription of Gajabhahu II. University of Ceylon Review: Vol. XX; No:1. pp.12-14.
17) Pushparatnam, P., 2014. Tamil Brahmi Inscription Belonging to 2200 years ago, Discovered by German Archaeological Team in Southern Sri Lanka. Jaffna University International Research Conference. pp.541-545.
18) Raghupathy, P., 1987. Early settlements in Jaffna: an archaeological survey. Published by Mrs. Thillimalar Ragupathy; Madras. pp.199-204.
19) Somadeva, R., 1998. ආනෛයිකෝඞ්ඩායි ලෝහ මුද්‍රාව: ස්වරාජ්‍යවාදී ප‍්‍රවේශයෙන් ඔබ්බට; The Annaikoddai Seal. Beyond the homelands approach  (In Sinhala). (editors: Gunawardhana, P.; Gunatilaka, H.M.,; Dissanayaka, A.,; Kumaratunga, D.G.). Sarasavi. ISBN: 955-96402-0-3. pp.39-49.
20)  Somadeva, R., 2010. තිස්සමහාරාම කුරුටු ලිපියේ ජර්මානු කියැවීම ශාස්ත්‍රීය නොමග යැවීමක්ද? (In Sinhala). Dinithi: Vol. 1: Part IV. ISSN 2012-7189. pp.2-5.
21) Veluppillai, A., 1971. Ceylon Tamil Inscriptions: Part 1. Published by the author. pp.1-77.
22)  Wickremasinghe, D. M. D. Z., 1928. Epigraphia Zeylanica: Being lithic and other inscriptions of Ceylon (Vol, II). Published for the government of Ceylon by Humphrey Milford. pp.242-255.

This page was last updated on 23 May 2020
For a complete tourist map follow this link: Lankapradeepa Tourist Map

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Dutch Reformed Church, Galle

Dutch Reformed Church, Galle A painting of Galle Dutch Reformed Church
The Dutch Reformed Church situated within the Galle Fort premises is one of the earliest Dutch churches in Sri Lanka.

History
Located close to the new entrance to the fort, the church has been built on the highest point in the Galle Fort. According to tradition, this church was erected by lady Gertruyda Adriana le Grand, the wife of the Commandeur Casparus de Jong (Lewis, 1913). It is said that Adriana who was living without a child for many years had made a vow that if she should ever have a child she would build a church as a thank-offering to God (Lewis, 1913; Ranchagoda, 2015). Her aspiration finally became fulfilled when she gave birth to a daughter (Ranchagoda, 2015). The church was designed by Abraham Anthoniz of Amsterdam, a Lieutenant of the Dutch army who worked as a chief engineer while in Galle (Abeyawardana, 2004; Ranchagoda, 2015).

The construction of the Dutch Reformed Church is said to have been commenced in 1752 and was completed in 1754 (Abeyawardana, 2004; Lewis, 1913).

A story says that the present Dutch church has been built on a site that originally occupied by a Portuguese Capuchin Convent (Abeyawardana, 2004). However, a ground plan of the Galle Fort is shown of the year 1736 in "Allerneuste Geographisch Oostindien", an old German work published in 1767, in which the present church area is marked as a piece of open ground (Lewis, 1913). But, it is reasonably supposed that the Portuguese convent that had existed there at an earlier time may have been demolished by the Dutch in their well-known hatred of the Roman Catholics (Lewis, 1913).

Tombstones
A large number of tombstones are found in the church premises. Some of them are found fixed on the floor of the church while others are placed in the outer compound. However, most of these tombstones are not originally belong to the church but have brought from the outside (Lewis, 1913). It is said that the tombstones of the Dutch buried at the site where the present Municipal Market stands were removed to the church in 1853 (Abeyawardana, 2004). Also, the larger tombstones placed under the staircase of the church have been brought to there in 1881 when the old graveyard was dismantled (Lewis, 1913).

Documents
The church contains records of marriages since 1748 and baptism from 1678 (Abeyawardana, 2004).

The church building
The church building can be considered as an ideal example for the colonial Dutch architecture in Sri Lanka. The baroque facade and the usual double scroll moldings on its gables testify its architectural glory. The basic ground plan of the church follows the shape of a cross and therefore, this church was known among the people as Kruis Kirk or Kurusa Palliya [(the church of the cross) Abeyawardana, 2004].

The pulpit of the church is very European in its appearance (Abeyawardana, 2004). However, the wood carvings (such as the designs of lotus and pineapple flowers) on the roof of the pulpit indicate the influence of the contemporary local traditions. Another interesting feature of the building is there are no pillars inside the building and the whole weight of the roof is borne by the beams laying on the walls (Abeyawardana, 2004; Ranchagoda, 2015). The iron beams used in the construction have increased the strength of the roof.

An underground vault has been built in the church to place the dead bodies of the officials of Dutch East India Company and their family members (Ranchagoda, 2015). An entrance that is said to be the way to that vault is still visible outside the church but it is not open to the public today (Abeyawardana, 2004; Ranchagoda, 2015).

Attribution
2) This painting (Dutch Reformed Church, Galle) has been drawn more than 100 years ago and therefore in the public domain.

References
1) Abeyawardana, H.A.P., 2004. Heritage of Ruhuna: Major natural, cultural and historic sites. Colombo: The Central Bank of Sri Lanka. ISBN: 955-575-073-4. pp.26-27.
2) Lewis, J. P., 1913. List of inscriptions on tombstones and monuments in Ceylon, of historical or local interest with an obituary of persons uncommemorated: Colombo. pp. 155-156.
3) Ranchagoda, T. O., 2015. Pauranika Sthana Ha Smaraka: Galla Distrikkaya (In Sinhala). Archaeological Department of Sri Lanka. ISBN:955-9159-53-4. pp.52-54.

Location Map

This page was last updated on 15 April 2020
For a complete tourist map follow this link: Lankapradeepa Tourist Map


A short note for local school students
ඕලන්ද රෙපරමාදු පල්ලිය, ගාල්ල

ගාල්ල කොටුව පරිශ්‍රයෙහි ඉදිකොට ඇති ඕලන්ද රෙපරමාදු පල්ලිය ශ්‍රී ලංකාවේ වූ පැරණි ලන්දේසි/ඕලන්ද පල්ලි අතුරින් එකකි.

ඉතිහාසය
කොටුවට ඇතුළු වීමට ඇති නව ප්‍රවේශය ආසන්නයෙන් පිහිටා තිබෙන පල්ලිය ගාලු කොටුවෙහි උස්ම ස්ථානයේ ඉදිකර තිබේ. සාම්ප්‍රදායික විශ්වාසයට අනූව මෙම පල්ලිය ගොඩනංවා ඇත්තේ නිළදාරී කැස්පර්ස් ඩි ජොන්ගේ ආර්යාව වූ අඩ්‍රියානා ලෙ ග්‍රාන්ඩ් විසිනි. දරුවන් අපේක්ෂාවෙන් දීර්ඝ කාලයක් බලා සිටි අඩ්‍රියානාගේ බලාපොරොත්තු ඉටුවීම නිසා ඇය පෙර භාරවී සිටි අයුරින් දෙවියන්ට ස්තූති කිරීම සඳහා මෙකී දේවස්ථානය ඉදිකොට ඇත. පල්ලියෙහි සැළැස්ම ඒබ්‍රහම් අන්තෝනි නම් ලුතිනන් නිළදාරියෙකු අතින් නිර්මාණය විය.

පල්ලියෙහි ඉදිකිරීම් කටයුතු 1752 වර්ෂයේදී ආරම්භ වී 1754දී නිමවිය.

පල්ලිය පරිශ්‍රය තුලදී සොහොන් පුවරු විශාල ප්‍රමාණයක් දැකගත හැකිවේ. ඉන් සමහරක් පුවරු පල්ලිය ඇතුලත ගෙබිම මත අතුරා තිබෙන අතර අනෙක්වා පිටත පරිශ්‍රයෙහි තැම්පත් කර ඇත. කෙසේනමුදු, මින් බොහොමයක් සොහොන් පුවරු පල්ලියට අයත්ව තිබූ ඒවා නොවන අතර පිටතින් රැගෙන එන ලද ඒවා වෙයි.

ගොඩනැගිල්ල
ශ්‍රී ලංකාවේ ඕලන්ද යටත්විජිත ගෘහනිර්මාණය සඳහා දර්ශීය උදාහරණයක් වශයෙන් මෙම පල්ලි ගොඩනැගිල්ල සැළකිය හැක. ඕලන්ද වාස්තු අනූව යමින් පල්ලිය කුරුස හැඩයකින් යුක්ත වන ලෙස සැළසුම් කර ඇත. වහලයේ බර දැරීමට ගොඩනැගිල්ල තුලින් කිසිදු කුළුණක් නොමැති වන අතර බිත්ති මත ඇති යටලී මගින් වහලයේ බර උසුලා සිටියි. යටලී සම්බන්ධ කර යකඩ බාල්ක යොදා තිබීමෙන් වහලයේ ශක්තිය තවදුරටත් තහවුරු කර ඇත.

පල්ලියේ ධර්මාසනය පෙනුමෙන් යුරෝපීය ලක්ෂණවලින් වලින් සමන්විත වූවත් එහි වහලයේ දැකගත හැකි ලී කැටයම් (අන්නාසි මල, නෙළුම් මල් මෝස්තර කැටයම්) මගින් සමකාලීන දේශීය සම්ප්‍රදායන්ගේ බලපෑම හගවයි. 

St. Mary's Cathedral, Galle

Cathedral of the Mother of Rosary
The Cathedral of St. Mary or Cathedral of the Mother of Rosary is a catholic church in Galle , Sri Lanka. Dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary, it is the cathedral church of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Galle.

History
During the Dutch period, a small church is said to have been established at the premises where the present cathedral stands (Jayasinghe, 2007). 

The present cathedral was established at the end of the 19th century. Priest Don Benedict Martin, during his tenure as the resident priest of Galle, initiated the construction of the church in 1873 by laying the foundation stone (Jayasinghe, 2007). The work of the church was started in 1874 (Jayasinghe, 2007).

A protected monument
Cathedral of the Mother of Rosary at the place called Mount Calvary belonging to Kaluwella village situated in the Grama Niladhari Division No. 96C, Kaluwella in the Divisional Secretaries Division, Four Gravets, is an archaeological protected monument, declared by a government gazette notification published on 12 April 2016.

Attribution

References
1) Jayasinghe, S., 2007. Dwellings of Faith: Art and architecture of the Catholic churches in the Galle Diocese. Bishop'sHouse, Kaluwella, Galle. ISBN: 978-955-1792-00-8. p.13.
2) The Gazette of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. No. 1963. 12 April 2016. p.14. 

Location Map

This page was last updated on 15 April 2020
For a complete tourist map follow this link: Lankapradeepa Tourist Map


A short note for local school students
ශාන්ත මරියා ආසන දෙව් මැදුර, ගාල්ල

ශ්‍රී ලංකාවේ ගාල්ල පිහිටි ශාන්ත මරියා ආසන දෙව් මැදුර (හෝ ගාල්ල ජපමාල දේවමාතා ආසන දෙව් මැදුර) යනු ගාල්ල රෝමානු කතෝලික දියෝකීසියේ ආසන දෙව් මැදුර වේ.

ඉතිහාසය
ලන්දේසී සමයේදී, වර්තමාන පල්ලිය ඉදිකොට තිබෙන භූමි පරිශ්‍රයේම කුඩා පල්ලියක් ඉදිකොට තිබුණු බැව් පැවසෙයි

වර්තමාන පල්ලිය 19වන සියවසේ අග භාගයේදී ඉදිකරන ලද්දකි. ගාල්ලෙහි පූජකවරයා ලෙස කටයුතු කල දොන් බෙනඩික් මාර්ටින් විසින් 1873 වර්ෂයේදී මුල්ගල තැබීමෙන් මෙම පල්ලියෙහි ආරම්භය සනිටුහන් කෙරුණි. පල්ලියෙහි ඉදිකිරීම් කටයුතු 1874 වර්ෂයේදී සිදුවිය.

පුරාවිද්‍යා ස්මාරකය
ගාල්ල කඩවත් සතර ප්‍රාදේශීය ලේකම් කොට්ඨාශයට අයත් කල්වාරි කන්ද ලෙස හැඳින්වෙන ස්ථානයෙහි පිහිටි ශාන්ත මරියා ආසන දෙව් මැදුර, 2016 අප්‍රේල් 12 දින ප්‍රකාශයට පත් රජයේ ගැසට් නිවේදනය මගින් ආරක්ෂිත පුරාවිද්‍යා ස්මාරකයක් ලෙස නම් කොට ඇත.

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Dutch Reformed Church, Matara

Matara Dutch Reformed Church
The Dutch Reformed Church situated within the Matara Fort premises is one of the earliest Dutch churches in Sri Lanka.

History
A painting of Matara Dutch Reformed Church
According to the inscription over the entrance, this church has been renovated in 1767 while Daniel Burnat was Dessave (Lewis, 1913). The tombstones that have been paved on the floor of the church contain dates earlier than 1767, indicating that this church was in existence there even before 1767 (Abeyawardana, 2004). The oldest of the gravestones contains the date 25 December 1686 (Lewis, 1913).

Tombstones
The plaques found on the church floor are the tombstones of the dead Dutch, British and Sri Lankan people (Abeyawardana, 2004; Lewis, 1913). These plaques were originally set in the cemetery of the church but later brought to here and paved on the floor (Wikramaratne, 2015).

The building
The Dutch church is a plain building sheltered beneath a gabled roof (Lewis, 1913). The building has round headed windows on each side, a pillared verandah on the east side, with the entrance in the middle (Lewis, 1913). Connecting the pillars, a short wall and a gate has been added to the verandah in 1950 (Wikramaratne, 2015).

A protected monument
Dutch Reformed Church in the premises of Matara Fort situated in the Grama Niladhari Division No. 416C, Fort in the Divisional Secretaries Division, Matara is an archaeological protected monument, declared by a government gazette notification published on 7 July 2016.

Dutch Reformed Church, Matara Dutch Reformed Church, Matara
.
Attribution
2) This painting (Dutch Reformed Church, Matara) has been drawn more than 100 years ago and therefore in the public domain.

References
1) Abeyawardana, H.A.P., 2004. Heritage of Ruhuna: Major natural, cultural and historic sites. Colombo: The Central Bank of Sri Lanka. ISBN: 955-575-073-4. p.67.
2) Lewis, J. P., 1913. List of inscriptions on tombstones and monuments in Ceylon, of historical or local interest with an obituary of persons uncommemorated: Colombo. p. 205.
3) The Gazette of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka: Extraordinary. No. 1974/16. 7 July 2016. p.2A.
4) Wikramaratne, I., 2015. Pauranika Sthana Saha Smaraka: Matara Distrikkaya (In Sinhala). Department of Archaeology (Sri Lanka). ISBN: 955-9159-54-2. p.57.

Location Map

This page was last updated on 15 April 2020
For a complete tourist map follow this link: Lankapradeepa Tourist Map


A short note for local school students
ඕලන්ද රෙපරමාදු පල්ලිය, මාතර

මාතර කොටුව පරිශ්‍රයෙහි ඉදිකොට ඇති ඕලන්ද රෙපරමාදු පල්ලිය ශ්‍රී ලංකාවේ වූ පැරණි ලන්දේසි/ඕලන්ද පල්ලි අතුරින් එකකි.

ඉතිහාසය
පල්ලියෙහි ප්‍රවිශ්ඨ ද්වාරය ඉහලින් සළකුණු කොට ඇති පරිදි, මෙම ගොඩනැගිල්ල 1767දී ප්‍රතිසංස්කරණය කොට තිබේ. පල්ලියේ ගෙබිම මත අතුරා තිබෙන සොහොන් පුවරුවල 1767 වර්ෂයට පෙර දින වකවානු සඳහන්ව තිබීම නිසා මෙම පල්ලිය 1767 වර්ෂයටත් පෙර සිට පවතින්නට ඇතැයි විශ්වාස කෙරේ. 

විවිධ හේතුන් මත මියගිය ලන්දේසි, බ්‍රිතාන්‍ය හා ශ්‍රී ලාංකිකයන්ගේ සොහොන් පුවරු රැසක් පල්ලියේ ගෙබිම මත අතුරා තිබෙනු දැක ගත හැක. මෙම පුවරු පල්ලියට අයත් සොහොනෙහි තිබී ගෙනවිත් පසු කාලීනව පල්ලිය ඇතුලත අතුරා ඇත.

ගොඩනැගිල්ල
දෙපල වහලකින් සෙවණ ලබන ගොඩනැගිල්ල කුළුණු සහිත ආලින්දයකින්, මධ්‍යයේ වූ ආරුක්කු හැඩැති ප්‍රවිශ්ඨ ද්වාරයකින් හා කවාකාර හිස් සහිත ජනේල වලින් සමන්විතය. ආලින්දයේ කුළුණු සම්බන්ද කරමින් මිටි බිත්තියක් හා ගේට්ටුවක් 1950 වර්ෂයේදී ඊට එකතු කොට තිබේ.

පුරාවිද්‍යා ස්මාරකය
මාතර ප්‍රාදේශීය ලේකම් කොට්ඨාශයට අයත් මාතර කොටුවෙහි පිහිටි පැරණි ලන්දේසි/ඕලන්ද රෙපරමාදු පල්ලිය 2016 ජූලි 7 දින ප්‍රකාශයට පත් රජයේ අතිවිශේෂ ගැසට් නිවේදනය මගින් ආරක්ෂිත පුරාවිද්‍යා ස්මාරකයක් ලෙස නම් කොට ඇත.

Kiri Vehera, Kataragama

Not to be confused with Kiri Vehera, Polonnaruwa & Kiri Vehera, Lahugala
 
Kataragama Kiri Vehera
Kiri Vehera Viharaya is a Buddhist temple situated in Kataragama in Monaragala District, Sri Lanka.

History
The Kiri Vehera Stupa is believed to have been founded by Mahanaga [(c. 3rd century B.C.) Paranavitana, 1933]. Brahmi letters (masons' marks) belonging to about the first century B.C. have been found on some of the bricks fallen down from the dilapidated Stupa dome (Nicholas, 1963; Paranavitana, 1933). 

Inscriptions
Two inscriptions have been found near the Kiri Vehera Stupa (Paranavitana, 1933). 

Kiri Vehera slab inscription of circa 2nd century A.D.
This slab contains five lines of writing inscribed vertically from the top downwards (Paranavitana, 1933). It records the enlarging of the Stupa (the modern Kiri Vehera) and the construction of entrance steps by a monk named Nanda (Nada-tere) residing at Dakavahanaka in the village Kadahavapigama (Nicholas, 1963; Paranavitana, 1933).

Slab inscription of Mahadalimahana
This inscription is on a slab lying on the pavement of Kiri Vehera. It has been broken into four fragments and one of them was missing but have been found today (Paranavitana, 1933; Uduwara, 1991). The inscription contains 13 lines of writing and the letters resemble to that of the Tissamaharama slab (Paranavitana, 1933). The inscription records about a donor named Mahadali Mahana raja (King Mahadathika Mahanaga) who according to Paranavitana, is a local ruler of Rohana (Paranavitana, 1933). The Kiri Vehera Stupa is referred to in this inscription as "Mangala-maha-seya" of Kajaragama-raji-maha-vehera (Nicholas, 1963; Paranavitana, 1933; Uduwara, 1991).

References
1) Nicholas, C. W., 1963. Journal of the Ceylon Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society, New Series (Vol VI). Special Number: Colombo. Royal Asiatic Society (Ceylon Branch). p.51.
2) Paranavitana, S., 1933. (Edited and translated by Wickremasinghe, D.M.D.Z.; Codrington, H.W.) Kataragama inscriptions. Epigraphia Zeylanica: Being lithic and other inscriptions of Ceylon: Vol. III. Printed at the Department of Government Printing, Sri Lanka (Ceylon) for the Archeological Department. pp.212-225.
3) Uduwara, J., 1991. Kataragama slab inscription. Epigraphia Zeylanica being lithic and other inscription of Ceylon: Vol.VI . Archaeological survey of Ceylon. Sri Lanka. pp.216-220.

Location Map

This page was last updated on 17 April 2020
For a complete tourist map follow this link: Lankapradeepa Tourist Map


A short note for local school students
කතරගම කිරි වෙහෙර

කිරි වෙහෙර ශ්‍රී ලංකාවේ මොණරාගල දිස්ත්‍රික්කයේ කතරගම පිහිටි බෞද්ධ සිද්ධස්ථානයකි.

ඉතිහාසය
ක්‍රි.පූ. 3වන සියවසේදී පමණ මහානාග විසින් කිරි වෙහෙර ඉදිකරන්නට ඇතැයි සාම්ප්‍රදායිකව විශ්වාස කෙරේ. ගරාවැටී තිබූ ස්තූප ගර්භයෙන් ගැලවී තුබූ ගඩොල් මත ලකුණු කොට තිබූ ක්‍රි.පූ. 1වන සියවසට අයත් බ්‍රාහ්මී සළකුණු හමුවී තිබේ.

ශිලා ලේඛන
කිරි වෙහෙර ස්තූපය අසල තිබී ශිලා ලේඛන ද්විත්වයක් හමුවී ඇත.

ක්‍රි.ව. 2වන සියවසට පමණ අයත් කිරි වෙහෙර පුවරු ලිපිය
කඩහවාපිගම (ග්‍රාමයේ) දකවහනක විසූ නන්ද නම් ථෙර විසින් දාගැබ (වත්මන් කිරි වෙහෙර) විශාල කිරීම හා එහි ප්‍රවිශ්ඨයන්හී පියගැට ඉදිකිරීම පිළිබ සටහනක් මෙම සෙල් ලිපියෙහි සඳහන්ය.

මහදලිමහන පුවරු ලිපිය
සෙල්ලිපිය කොටස් 4කට කැඩී ගොස් ඇත. පේලි 13කින් සමන්විත සෙල්ලිපියෙහි අකුරු තිස්සමහාරාම පුවරුවට සමානය. මෙම ශිලා ලේඛනයෙහි කිරි වෙහෙර හඳුන්වා ඇත්තේ කාජරගාම රජ මහා වෙහෙර ලෙසයි.