Budugala Archaeological Site (Kaltota)

Budugala Archaeological Site (Sinhala: කල්තොට බුදුගල පුරාවිද්‍යා ස්ථානය) is situated in Kaltota in Ratnapura District, Sri Lanka.

The history of Budugala goes back to the 1st century B.C. (Abeyawardana, 2002). A cave inscription written in Brahmi characters of the pre-Christian era has been found from the site (Gnanawimala Thera, 1967; Paranavitana, 1970). Some ruined buildings found at the site are believed to have been erected in the 7th-8th century A.D. (Somadeva et al., 2014).

Budugala cave inscription
Script: Early-Brahmi                     Language: Old Sinhala
Transcript: (1) Parumaka Shona-putasha (2) Bata-Punashaguta lene
Translation: The cave of Lord Punashaguta, son of the chief Sona.
Citation: Paranavitana, 1970. p.59.

Clay inscription found in Budugala
Two pieces of tiles with letters were discovered in February 2021 from the ground at the foot of the Budugala hill near the Archaeological circuit bungalow. The inscriptions on these tiles, even though incomplete, have been written in medieval Sinhala script belonging to the 12th century. They contain some information about two kings of the Polonnaruwa Period; King Vijayabahu I (1055-1110 A.D.) and his brother King Jayabahu (1110-1111 A.D.).

The temple
The ruins of an ancient Buddhist monastery are found on the summit as well as the foot of a hill. These ruins are mainly scattered in two sections; the lower section and the upper section. Foundations of two ruined buildings, a Sandakada Pahana (moonstone), a toilet stone, a stone slab depicting a figure of a Bodhi tree, and a ruined  Stupa built on a rock are found at the lower section (Collins, 1932; Somadeva et al., 2014). The foundations of the two ruined buildings have been connected to each other through a narrow bridge as found in the buildings known as Padhanaghara. According to Collins, these structures in Budugala are similar to those found in Ritigala, Arankele, and Western Monasteries (Collins, 1932).

In the upper section, the foundations of another two ruined buildings, a water container, and a rock containing some irregular sketches (petroglyphs ?) are found (Somadeva et al., 2014). A flight of steps accompanied by Korawak-gal (wingstones) provides access to the upper ground from the lower section. More ruins are also found towards the summit of the hill.

1) Abeyawardana, H.A.P., 2002. Heritage of Sabaragamuwa: Major natural, cultural and historic sites. Sabaragamuwa Development Bank and The Central Bank of Sri Lanka. ISBN: 955-575-077-7.  p.29.
2) Collins, C.H., 1932. The archaeology of the Sabaragamuwa Bintenna. Journal of the Ceylon Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society, Vol. XXXII, No 85. pp.158-184.
3) Gnanawimala Thera, K., 1967. Saparagamu Darshana (In Sinhala). S. Godage Saha Sahodarayo. pp.270-271.
4) Paranavitana, S., 1970. Inscription of Ceylon (Vol. I). Department of Archaeology Ceylon. p.59.
5) Somadeva, R., Vanninayaka, A., Devage, D., 2014. Kaltota Gaveshanaya, 2014. Adiyara 1 (In Sinhala). pp.21,23-24,33.

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This page was last updated on 27 May 2023
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