Divurumwela Raja Maha Viharaya

Divurumwela Raja Maha Viharaya
Divurumwela Raja Maha Viharaya, some called Divurumpola Temple (Sinhala: දිවුරුම්වෙල විහාරය, දිවුරුම්පොල විහාරය) is a Buddhist temple situated in Nugatalawa village in Badulla District, Sri Lanka.

The construction of the Divurumwela temple is attributed to King Aggabodhi IV in the 7th century A.D. (Gunasekara, 2004).

The small Stupa, the Bodhi tree, and the image house can be identified as the ancient monuments within the temple premises (Priyadarshani & Gunasena, 2017). However, the old paintings in the image house have been covered in 1983 by drawing new paintings over them (Priyadarshani & Gunasena, 2017). A few stone pillars are found at the entrance to the shrine (Priyadarshani & Gunasena, 2017). A fragmentary slab inscription of the reign of King Mahinda IV (956-972 A.D.) has been found from the old Bodhi tree premises of the temple (Ranawella, 2004).

Period: Mahinda IV (956-972 A.D.)     Script: Medieval Sinhala     Language: Medieval Sinhala
Content: This record is dated in the first regnal year of the king. It registers certain immunities granted in respect of some land belonging to a Vihara by the supreme council on a decree issued by his Highness lord Kasub, who was the governor of Ruhuna at that time. As the record is fragmentary, it is unable to ascertain fully what were the immunities granted.
Reference: Ranawella, 2004.

A place related to Ramayanaya?
Without any archaeological or historical evidence, this Buddhist temple is being promoted by some locals and tourist agencies as a Hindu place related to Rama and Sita, two mythical figures depicted in the Indian epic Ramayanaya. According to them, Divurumwela/Divurumpola is the place where Sita had undergone Agni-pariskha for proving her chastity. To encourage this view, this place has been modified recently by the temple authorities by creating new Hindu figures and paintings.

The authenticity of the Ramayanaya is controversial and hence it is today dismissed as a myth by Sri Lankan scholars (JRASSL, 2014).

A protected site
The ancient Stupa, and the Bodhi pedestal belonging to the Divurumwela Purana Vihara situated in the Grama Niladhari Division of Welimada, in Welimada Divisional Secretary’s Division are archaeological protected monuments, declared by two government gazette notifications published on 22 November 2002 and 6 June 2008.

Divurumwela Raja Maha Viharaya
1) Divurumpola by Amila Tennakoon is licensed under CC BY 2.0
#) LankaPradeepa.com also would like to thank Lalith Kekulthotuwage for providing the necessary photographs required for this article. All the photos are published here with the permission of the author.

1) Gunasekara, S., 2004. Pattipola Bu Äla - An exceptional design of ancient Sinhala hydraulic engineering. Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society of Sri Lanka, 50, pp.33-42.
2) JRASSL, 2014. Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society of Sri Lanka New Series, Vol. 59, No. 2, Special Issue on the Ramayana (2014). https://www.jstor.org/stable/i40203619. pp.1-112.
3) Priyadarshani, S.A.N.; Gunasena, I.P.P., 2017. Pauranika Sthana Ha Smaraka: Badulla Distrikkaya (In Sinhala). Department of Archaeology. ISBN: 955-9159-48-8. pp.34-35.
4) Ranawella, G.S., 2004. Inscription of Ceylon. Volume V, Part II. Department of Archaeology. ISBN: 955-9159-30-5. pp.230-235.
5) The Gazette of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. No: 1264. 22 November 2002.
6) The Gazette of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. No: 1553. 6 June 2008. p.530.

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This page was last updated on 8 October 2023

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