Gopala Pabbata

Gopala Pabbata
Gopala Pabbata (Photo credit: Gatewayto east, Google Street View)
Gopala Pabbata (Sinhala: ගෝපාල පබ්බත) is a small group of rocks located within the Ancient City of Polonnaruwa, Sri Lanka. The cave called Madalaya's Lena is also found at this site (Wikramagamage, 2004).

The earliest antiquities so far discovered at Polonnaruwa are two inscriptions (one in a cave and the other on the rock near the cave) from this site (Paranavitana, 2001). They confirm that this site was an abode of the monks in ancient times (Nicholas, 1963). According to Culavamsa, Gopala Pabbata was the southern boundary of the great monks' university, the Alahana Pirivena (Jayasuriya, 2016).

Gopala Pabbata cave inscription
Period : 1st-2nd century A.D.            Script : Later Brahmi            Language : Old Sinhala
Transcript    : Sida [|*] Madalayaha lene
Translation  : Hail! The cave of Madalaya
Citation : Paranavitana, 1970. p.93.
Gopala Pabbata rock inscription
This inscription is not preserved in full and there are two fragments of two lines (Paranavitana, 2001). This inscription confirms that the religious settlement centering on the Gopala Pabbata of the 12th century was known in the 1st century as Chulagalla Viharaya (Paranavitana, 2001).

Period : 1st-2nd century A.D.            Script : Later Brahmi            Language : Old Sinhala
Content    : This records a donation made to a temple named Chulagala Viharaya by Chula Ahalaya, the son of Ayatiya Buta.
Reference : Paranavitana, 2001; The information board at the site by the Department of Archaeology and the Ministry of National Heritage.

1) Jayasuriya, E., 2016. A guide to the Cultural Triangle of Sri Lanka. Central Cultural Fund. ISBN: 978-955-613-312-7. p.81. 
2) Nicholas, C. W., 1963. Historical topography of ancient and medieval Ceylon. Journal of the Ceylon Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society, New Series (Vol VI). Special Number: Colombo. Royal Asiatic Society (Ceylon Branch). p.178. 
3) Paranavitana, S., 1970. Inscription of Ceylon (Vol. I). Department of Archaeology Ceylon. p.93.
4) Paranavitana, S., 2001 (Edited by Dias, M.). Inscriptions of Ceylon: Vol. II. Part II. Archaeological Survey Department, Sri Lanka. pp.223-224.
5) Wikramagamage, C., 2004. Heritage of Rajarata: Major natural, cultural, and historic sites. Colombo. Central Bank of Sri Lanka. p.219.

Location Map
This page was last updated on 4 June 2022
For a complete tourist map follow this link: Lankapradeepa Tourist Map

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