Saturday, 20 February 2021

Dematamal Viharaya

Dematamal Viharaya
Photo credit: Google Street View

Dematamal Viharaya (Sinhala: දෙමටමල් විහාරය) is a Buddhist temple situated in Okkampitiya in Monaragala District, Sri Lanka.

Dematavala, identical to Dematahal, Gamitthavali, or Gamitthapali Vihara founded by King Kavantissa in the 2nd century B.C. is believed to be the present Okkampitiya where the Dematamal Viharaya situated (Nicholas, 1963). A late-Brahmi inscription of King Gothabhaya (253-266 A.D.) has been found in a place called Galkotuwa located in the vicinity of Dematamal Viharaya (Paranavitana, 2001).

The temple is also popular as the place where Prince Tissa took refuge after he was defeated by Prince Gemunu at Yudaganawa.

Dematamal Stupa
The Stupa of Dematamal Viharaya is believed to be one of the oldest Stupas in the country (Paskaran et al., 2011). It is said to have been built by Prince Mahanaga of Ruhuna, a brother of King Devanampiyatissa [(3rd century B.C.) Paskaran et al., 2011].

The restoration works of the Stupa was commenced in 1975 and completed in 1990 (Paskaran et al., 2011). It was repaired again in 1992. The present Stupa is 19 m tall (Paskaran et al., 2011).

A protected site
The Stupa, stone pillars, and other ancient structures in Dematamal Vihara premises situated in Okkampitiya village in the Divisional Secretary’s Division, Buttala are archaeological protected monuments, declared by a government Gazette notification published on 27 December 1974.

1) 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.54.
2) Paskaran, S., Perera, M., Kumara, D., Jayasinghe, T., Jayasinghe, C. and Lewangamage, S., 2011. Study on the cracks developed in Dematamal Viharaya, Uva Province Sri Lanka. Proceeding of the  International Conference on Structural Engineering, Construction and Management (ICSECM-2.11)  Kandy. pp.301-309.
3) Paranavitana, S., 2001 (Edited by Dias, M.). Inscriptions of Ceylon: Vol. II. Part II. Archaeological Survey Department, Sri Lanka. pp.181-183.
4) The Gazette of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. no: 144. 27 December 1974.

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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