Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Basavakkulama Rock Inscription of Mahanama

The Basavakkulama Rock Inscription of King Mahanama is a rock-cut record discovered from Anuradhapura District, Sri Lanka.

Discovery
As mentioned in the Anual Administration report of the Archaeological Survey of Ceylon: 1952, the inscription was discovered incised on a rock in a private land located about a quarter of a mile to the north of the spill of Basavakkuḷama Wewa (Abhaya Wewa) at Anuradhapura (Paranavitana, 1960; Ranawella, 2009). The discovery is said to be made by Rev. Pandit T. Sri Dipananda Thera of Bharatindrasrama, Anuradhapura (Paranavitana, 1960).

Readings
The inscription was first published in 1960 by Senarath Paranavitana as part of an article dealing with the History of Sri Lanka entitled "New Light on the Buddhist Era in Ceylon and Early Sinhalese Chronology" (Paranavitana, 1960). He had dated the record to the reign of King Upatissa I [(c.370-410 A.D.) Paranavitana, 1960]. However, by pointing out the Paranavitana's reading as a fabrication, it was again published by Sirimal Ranawella in 2009, where he showed that it is a record of the reign of King Mahanama [(410-432 A.D.) Ranawella, 2009].

Content
The inscription has been engraved on a rock surface, covering an area of 4 feet 7 inches by 2 feet 9 inches in 11 lines of writing (Paranavitana, 1960). The record refers to a monastery named Nekari ve(he)ra founded by King Mahanama and the granting of some villages and lands to that monastery by him (Ranawella, 2009).

References
1) Paranavitana, S., 1960. New Light on the Buddhist era in Ceylon and early Sinhalese chronology. University of Ceylon Review, Vol. XVIII, No.3& 4, 1960 pp. 129-155.
2) Ranawella, S., 2009. A Revised Edition of the Basavakkuḷma Rock Inscription of King Mahānāma (410-432). Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society of Sri Lanka, 55, pp.17-22.

Location Map

Only the location of the Basavakkulama Wewa has been given below;
This page was last updated on 13 January 2021
For a complete tourist map follow this link: Lankapradeepa Tourist Map

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