Buddhism and Sri Lanka

According to Sri Lankan chronicles, Buddhism was introduced to Sri Lanka in the 3rd century B.C. by Arhant Mahinda, during the reign of King Devanampiya Tissa.

Sri Lankan Inscriptions

The earliest trace of epigraphy in South Asia is said to be found in Sri Lanka. A piece of pottery, dated to circa the 4th century B.C. has been discovered from the Anuradhapura citadel.

Architecture of Sri Lanka

The architecture of Sri lanka has a long history and shows diversed forms and styles, mainly infuenced by their religions and traditional beliefs.

Sri Lankan Antiquities

Inherited from the past, Sri Lanka has a large number of antiques with cultural and historical significance which reflects the glory of past era.

Visit Sri Lanka

Located in the northern waters of the Indian Ocean, Sri Lanka is an island blessed with a large number of attractons which has made the country an ideal destination for the tourism.

Sunday, May 30, 2021

Hindu Temples of Ancient Polonnaruwa

Polonnaruwa Siva Devale No. 2
About seventeen (or more) stone or brick-built temples dedicated to Hindu deities such as Siva, Visnu, Kali, Ganesa have been found in the Ancient Medieval City of Polonnaruwa, Sri Lanka (Meegama, 2010; Prematilleke, 1990). These shrines are believed to have been constructed by the South Indian Colas who Invaded and Occupied Sri Lanka from 993-1077 A.D. (Meegama, 2010). However, some of these shrines belong to the 13th century, when yet another wave of invasions took place under Magha of Kalinga (Prematilleke, 1990). These shrines continued to be maintained during the reigns of Sinhalese rulers as well (Meegama, 2010; Prematilleke, 1990).

The list of Hindu shrines in the Ancient Polonnaruwa City
This is an incomplete list prepared by "Lanka Pradeepa".
 
No. Shrine Remarks References
1 Siva Devale No. 1
Stone-built shrine. Consists of 4 fanes
Prematilleke, 1990
2 Siva Devale No. 2
Stone-built shrine. Consists of 2 fanes
Prematilleke, 1990
3 Siva Devale No. 3
Stone-built shrine. Consists of 2 fanes
Prematilleke, 1990
4 Siva Devale No. 4
Brick-built shrine. Consists of 3 fanes
Prematilleke, 1990
5 Siva Devale No. 5
Brick-built shrine. Consists of 7 fanes
Prematilleke, 1990
6 Siva Devale No. 6
Brick-built shrine. Consists of 4 fanes
Prematilleke, 1990
7 Siva Devale No. 7
Brick-built shrine. Consists of 2 fanes
Prematilleke, 1990
8 Siva Devale A

Meegama, 2010
9 Siva Devale B

Meegama, 2010
10 Siva Devale C

Meegama, 2010
11 Visnu Devale No. 1

Prematilleke, 1990
12 Visnu Devale No. 2
Stone-built shrine
Prematilleke, 1990
13 Visnu Devale No. 3
Brick-built shrine
Prematilleke, 1990
14 Visnu Devale No. 4
Brick-built shrine
Prematilleke, 1990
15 Visnu Devale No. 5
Brick-built shrine
Prematilleke, 1990
16 Kali Devale
Brick-built shrine. Consists of 2 fanes
Prematilleke, 1990
17 Ganapathi Devale

Meegama, 2010

References
1) Meegama, S.A., 2010. South Indian or Sri Lankan? The Hindu Temples of Polonnaruva, Sri Lanka. Artibus Asiae, 70(1), pp.25-45.
2) Prematilleke, L., 1990. The architecture of the Polonnaruwa Period B.C. 800 - 1200 A.D. [Wijesekara, N. (Editor in chief)]. Archaeological Department centenary (1890-1990): Commemorative series: Volume III: Architecture. Department of Archaeology (Sri Lanka). pp.55-58.
 
This page was last updated on 12 June 2021
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Visnu Devale No. 2

Visnu Devalaya No. 2 is a ruined Hindu temple situated near the northern gate of the Ancient City of Polonnaruwa, Sri Lanka.

History
The construction date or the builder of this shrine is not known (Wikramagamage, 2004). However, it is believed to have been constructed during the Cola Period of Sri Lanka (1017-1070 A.D.).
 
The temple
Only the stone basement of this shrine remains today. A statue of God Visnu which is said to have been found from the site is currently on the display in the Polonnaruwa Archaeological Museum. A replica of that statue has been placed at the present site. Two other shrines dedicated to God Ganesa and Siva (Siva Devale No. 7) are found in the vicinity of this shrine.
 
See also
References
1) Wikramagamage, C., 2004. Heritage of Rajarata: Major natural, cultural, and historic sites. Colombo. Central Bank of Sri Lanka. p.213.

Location Map
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Naipena Viharaya

Naipena Viharaya
Photo credit: Google street view

Naipena Viharaya (Cobra Hood Shrine) is referred to a complex of two Hindu shrines namely Siva Devale No. 5 and Visnu Devale No. 4, situated in the Ancient City of Polonnaruwa, Sri Lanka.

History
Although this site is popularly known as Naipena Viharaya (Viharaya is a suffix use to denote a Buddhist temple), it has been identified that this is a Hindu temple complex. The present name is thought to have been derived due to the cobra-hood (Naipena) decoration of the Vimana of the Visnu shrine (now fallen down) located in the northern part of the complex (Jayasuriya, 2016; Prematilleke, 1990; Wikramagamage, 2004).
 
The ancient name or the builder of this complex is not known. However, it is believed to have been constructed during the Cola Period of Sri Lanka [(1017-1070 A.D.) Wikramagamage, 2004].
 
The temple complex
The temple complex surrounded by a wall has in its centre a Siva temple and a Visnu temple (Jayasuriya, 2016). The two shrines stand adjacent to each other and separate only by a boundary wall (Prematilleke, 1990). The ancillary buildings around the temples have been used for offerings associated with these shrines.
 
Siva Devale No. 5
Located in the south section of this complex, Siva Devale No. 5 is the largest ancient Siva temple found in Polonnaruwa (Jayasuriya, 2016; Prematilleke, 1990). It consists of a Garbhagrha (sanctum), Antarala (vestibule), Ardhamandapa, Mandapa (inner hall), and Mahamandapa [(outer hall) Prematilleke, 1990]. In the Garbhagrha is a Siva-linga placed on a slab of stone with a drain at the base of the Linga (Wikramagamage, 2004). The brick-built Vimana which is on the roof of the building is fallen on the ground.
 
The largest hoard of Hindu bronzes of Polonnaruwa ancient city was discovered from the premises of Siva Devale No. 5. Some of the artefacts are presently on the display in the Polonnaruwa Archaeological Museum and the Colombo National Museum.
 
Visnu Devale No. 4
The Visnu Devale is located in the northern section of the complex. It has the same ground plan as the Siva Devale, except that it did not possess the Mahamandapa of the Siva shrine (Prematilleke, 1990). Its Garbhagrha has been constructed according to the Gedige tradition with a roof made of bricks. A fallen down part of this ancient roof can be still seen on the premises and a decoration of a five-hooded cobra is found on it.
 
See also
References
1) Jayasuriya, E., 2016. A guide to the Cultural Triangle of Sri Lanka. Central Cultural Fund. ISBN: 978-955-613-312-7. p.86.
2) Prematilleke, L., 1990. The architecture of the Polonnaruwa Period B.C. 800 - 1200 A.D. [Wijesekara, N. (Editor in chief)]. Archaeological Department centenary (1890-1990): Commemorative series: Volume III: Architecture. Department of Archaeology (Sri Lanka). p.57.
3) Wikramagamage, C., 2004. Heritage of Rajarata: Major natural, cultural, and historic sites. Colombo. Central Bank of Sri Lanka. p.227.

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Friday, May 28, 2021

Lenabatuwa Ambalama

Lenabatuwa Ambalama
Photo credit: Google street view

The Lenabatuwa Ambalama is an old wayside rest in the village of Lenabatuwa in Matara District, Sri Lanka.

History
Ambalamas are traditional resting places built by locals to accommodate wayfarers who were travelling to distant places. The Ambalama at Lenabatuwa is one such building constructed long years ago.

Structure
This rectangular-shaped brick-built building has been plastered with lime mortar. Three sides of the building are fully covered by the walls while the front side is opened to the road. Two small windows have been made on the two sides for ventilation. The walls are about 18 inches in thickness (Abeyawardana, 2004). The roof is covered with calicut clay tiles. 
 
References
1) Abeyawardana, H.A.P., 2004. Heritage of Ruhuna: Major natural, cultural and historic sites. Colombo: The Central Bank of Sri Lanka. ISBN: 955-575-073-4. p.64.

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Parawahera Ambalama

Parawahera Ambalama
Photo credit: Google street view

The Parawahera Ambalama is an old wayside rest in the village of Parawahera in Matara District, Sri Lanka.

History
Ambalamas are traditional resting places built by locals to accommodate wayfarers who were travelling to distant places. The Ambalama at Parawahera is believed to have been constructed more than one hundred years ago (Wikramaratne, 2015).

Structure
This rectangular-shaped brick-built building has been plastered with lime mortar. Three sides of the building are fully covered by the walls while the front side is opened to the road. The roof is covered with Sinhala Ulu [(semi-cylindrical clay tiles) Wikramaratne, 2015].

A protected monument
The doss house (Parawahera Ambalama) in Parawahera village in the Grama Niladhari Division of Parawahera East is an archaeological protected monument, declared by a government gazette notification published on 16 August 2013.

References
1) The Gazette of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka: Extraordinary No: 1823/73. 16 August 2013. p.5A.
2) Wikramaratne, I., 2015. Pauranika Sthana Saha Smaraka: Matara Distrikkaya (In Sinhala). Department of Archaeology (Sri Lanka). ISBN: 955-9159-54-2. p.62.

Location Map
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Telulla Archaeological Site, Hambantota

Telulla Archaeological Site
Photo credit: Anuradha Piyadasa, Google street view

Telulla Archaeological Site is situated at the boundary of Bundala National Park near the mouth of Kirindi Oya River in Hambantota District, Sri Lanka. 

History
The ruins of an ancient Buddhist monastery such as Stupas, image houses, and limestone Buddha statues can be seen scattered throughout the site (Abeyawardana, 2004). In ancient times, this monastery is said to have been called by the name "Tottila" (Abeyawardana, 2004). This monastery is believed to have been constructed during the Anuradhapura Period (Abeyawardana, 2004).

An archaeological reserve
The site named Telulla Puravidya Sthanaya (consist of 6 acres, 0 roods, 13 perches) situated in Thelulla village in Hambantota District is an archaeological reserve, declared by a government gazette notification published on 23 August 1968.
 
References
1) Abeyawardana, H.A.P., 2004. Heritage of Ruhuna: Major natural, cultural and historic sites. Colombo: The Central Bank of Sri Lanka. ISBN: 955-575-073-4. pp.107,129.
2) The government gazette notification. no: 14816. 23 August 1968.

Location Map
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Thursday, May 27, 2021

Mahapali Alms-Hall

Mahapali Alms-Hall (or Mahapali Refectory) is a ruined building located in the Inner City of Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka. 
 
History
Mahapali was the royal alms-hall where the daily alms were provided for the monks at the king's expense during the Anuradhapura Period (Nicholas, 1963). The term "Mahapali" may have derived from the custom of monks coming for their food in a queue (Pela) according to their seniority (Jayasuriya, 2016). Two 10th century inscriptions found on the large stone canoe in the alms hall contain the word Maha-pela which means the "great-queue" (Nicholas, 1963).

The practice to supply meals for the monks from the royal kitchen was begun since the time of King Devanampiyatissa [(247-207 B.C.) Jayasuriya, 2016]. Therefore, Devanampiyatissa is credited with constructing the original Mahapali alms-hall adjacent to the royal palace (Nicholas, 1963; Paranavitana, 1936).
 
Since then, the Mahapali alms hall was maintained, restored or re-built by successive kings up to the end of the Anuradhapura Period (Paranavitana, 1936). The Chinese pilgrims Fa-Hien and Hieun Tsiang both refer to the alms hall maintained by the Sinhalese kings within the royal palace (Paranavitana, 1936). As recorded in chronicles, kings such as Khujjanaga (c. 245-247 A.D.), Upatissa I (365-406 A.D.), Mahanaga (406-428 A.D.), Dhatusena (455-473 A.D.) continued the alms-giving tradition from the Mahapalai alms hall (Nicholas, 1963; Paranavitana, 1936). King Aggabodhi I (571-604 A.D.) made a bronze canoe for the Mahapali and King Aggabodhi II (604-614 A.D.) also set up a canoe for the gifts of rice (Paranavitana, 1936). King Silameghavanna (619-628 A.D.) enlarged the Mahapali alms hall but one of his successors, Dathopatissa I (639-650 A.D.) gave the canoes in the alms hall to his Tamil soldiers (Paranavitana, 1936). Other successive kings including Kassapa II (650-659 A.D.), Dathopatissa II (664-673 A.D.), Aggabodhi IV (673-689 A.D.), Mahinda I (738-741 A.D.), Dappula II (815-831 A.D.), Aggabodhi IX (843-846 A.D.), and Udaya II (887-898 A.D.) contributed in the development of the alms hall (Nicholas, 1963; Paranavitana, 1936). King Mahinda IV (956-972 A.D.) re-built the Mahapali alms hall after it was burnt down by the South Indian Cola army who invaded Anuradhapura in the reign of King Udaya III [(935-938 A.D.) Paranavitana, 1936].

After the downfall of the Anuradhapura Kingdom, the alms hall was fallen into decay. The materials of the building have been removed from this site later to construct other buildings (Jayasuriya, 2016; Paranavitana, 1936).

The stone canoe and inscriptions
A large stone canoe can be seen at this site. It has been used as a receptacle for boiled rice intended for feeding the Buddhist monks (Paranavitana, 1936). Stone canoes similar to this have also been found from the alms halls at Abhayagiriya, Jetavanaramaya, Maha Viharaya, and Mihintale
 
Three inscriptions belonging to the last quarter of the 10th century have been found engraved on the outer face of the north end of this canoe (Paranavitana, 1933). The first inscription comprises eleven lines of writing while the second and third has three lines of writings each (Paranavitana, 1933). Of the three inscriptions, the first one refers to a donation of the alms by the monks to the workers who were restoring the Jetavanarama Stupa (Jayasuriya, 2016; Wikramagamage, 2004).
Period: 10th century A.D.          Script: Medieval Sinhala          Language: Medieval Sinhala
Transcript: Me Ma[hapela] bat [ga]nna tak denamo a[pa] lada bat [ko]tas bat Dena vehe[ra] dagaba karana ...>>
Translation: We, all of us, who receive rations at this Mahapali, have given our shares of rice for the new works being carried on at the Stupa of the Jetavana monastery. Those who violate this shall take [upon themselves] the sins committed by [all] the inhabitants of the land. [They also] shall incur the sins committed by a killer of goats at Mahavutu (Mahatittha: modern Tiruketiswaram near Mannar).
Citation: Paranavitana, 1933. pp.132-133.
Other ruins
A slab inscription of King Mahinda IV (956-972 A.D.) and a ruined building believed to be the ancient Temple of the Tooth Relic have been found adjacent to the site of the Mahapali alms hall (Paranavitana, 1936). Also, an ancient well that probably had supplied water to the alms hall has been unearthed from this site (Jayasuriya, 2016; Wikramagamage, 2004). Although this well has features of the 10th century A.D., a worn inscription discovered from a stone slab of this well reveals that it probably has been dug in the 6th century A.D. (Paranavitana, 1936).
 
References
1) Jayasuriya, E., 2016. A guide to the Cultural Triangle of Sri Lanka. Central Cultural Fund. ISBN: 978-955-613-312-7. p.48.
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). pp.139-140.
3) Paranavitana, S., 1933. (Edited and translated by Wikramasinghe, D.M.D.Z.; Codrington, H.W.) Inscriptions on the stone canoe within the Citadel Anuradhapura. Epigraphia Zeylanica: Being Lithic and Other Inscriptions of Ceylon : Vol. III. Printed at the Department of Government Printing, Sri Lanka (Ceylon) for the Archeological Department. pp.131-137.
4) Paranavitana, S., 1936. The excavation in the Citadel of Anuradhapura. Memoirs of the Archaeological Survey of Ceylon. Vol. III. Ceylon Government Press. Colombo. pp.2,24-36.
5) Wikramagamage, C., 2004. Heritage of Rajarata: Major natural, cultural, and historic sites. Colombo. Central Bank of Sri Lanka. p.50.

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Temple of the Tooth Relic, Anuradhapura

Temple of the Tooth Relic, Anuradhapura
Photo credit: Ali Marhubi, Google street view

A ruined building popularly known as Dalada-ge (Temple of the Tooth Relic) is located in the Inner City of Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka.

History
At present, this building is believed as the Dalada-ge, the shrine used to place the sacred Tooth Relic of the Buddha during the Anuradhapura Period. However, this identification is still in the debate as there is no strong evidence has been found to prove that belief. Scholars have divided opinions regarding the true location of the ancient Dalada-ge (the Temple of the Tooth Relic) at Anuradhapura (Amarasinghe, 2015).
 
Tooth Relic of the Buddha
During the reign of King Sirimeghavanna (c.362-389 A.D.), the Tooth Relic of the Buddha was brought to Sri Lanka and was placed in a shrine named Dhammacakka (Paranavitana, 1936). Since then, it was kept in or near the royal palace, treated with higher esteem and considered as a symbol of kingship (Jayasuriya, 2016). Presently, this relic is safely housed in the Dalada Maligawa (Temple of the Tooth Relic) in Kandy (Jayasuriya, 2016).

Slab Inscription of Mahinda IV
An inscription of King Mahinda IV (956-972 A.D.) engraved on a slab was discovered near a ruined building with tall monoliths located adjacent to the premises of Mahapali Alms-Hall. It lays down certain rules regarding fields belonging to the royal palace and also mentions the Shrine of the Tooth Relic [(Dalada-ge) Paranavitana, 1936; Ranawella, 2004]. The reference to the Dalada-ge is important for it hints to identify the Temple of the Tooth Relic which was rebuilt by Mahinda IV in the centre of the city (Ranawella, 2004). As mentioned in chronicles, the Temple of the Tooth along with Mahapali Alms-Hall was burnt down by the South Indian Cola army who invaded Anuradhapura in the reign of King Udaya III (935-938 A.D.) but was rebuilt by Mahinda IV.
 
The ruined building located near this inscription was identified by the eminent archaeologist Senarath Paranavitana as the Dalada-ge which is mentioned in the record (Paranavitana, 1936).

The location of the ancient Temple of the Tooth
The building presently called the Temple of the Tooth Relic was identified by Paranavitana as an edifice with a layout similar to the nearby Gedige Image House and he named it "Building A" (Paranavitana, 1936). He found a masons mark on one of the moulded stone slabs fixed onto the Asana (platform) which is in the inner room of this edifice and with the help of that, he dated the building to the 8th century A.D. (Paranavitana, 1936). According to the view of Paranavitana, the ancient Dalada-ge was located at the spot situated south of the pond and next to the Mahapali Alms-Hall where a ruined building with tall monoliths and the slab inscription of Mahinda IV can be seen (Amarasinghe, 2015).

However, Senake Bandaranayake in the belief that both edifices referred to as the "Gedige Image House" and "Building A" by Paranavitana may have served as the Temple of the Tooth Relic (Amarasinghe, 2015). According to him, the beads and the seated lion image that were unearthed in the 1930s from the spot where Paranavitana identified as the Dalada-ge indicate that it to be a secular/palace building (Amarasinghe, 2015). Also, he pointed out that the slab inscription of Mahinda IV which contains certain rules enacted with regard to lands belonging to the royal household should be set up within the precincts of the king's palace rather than the Temple of the Tooth Relic (Bandaranayake, 1974).

The two buildings
The building presently called "Dalada-ge"
This is roughly a rectangular building. It comprises an inner cella 33 ft. 6 in. square with projections 20 ft. 6 in. by 2 ft. 6 in. on the west, south and east (Paranavitana, 1936). The projection on the north is lengthened to form an entrance porch 20 ft. 6 in. by 11 ft. 3 in. (Paranavitana, 1936). The porch probably had a timber roof covered with tiles (Paranavitana, 1936). The main building would appear to have had a vaulted roof (Paranavitana, 1936).  

The entrance porch of this building faces north and a flight of five stone steps accompanied by two Korawak-gal (balustrades), two Muragal (guard stones) and a Sandakada-pahana (moonstone) provide access to it. After the porch is a stone door-frame, 7 ft. 4 in. by 3 ft. 7 in. (Paranavitana, 1936). It gives access to an ambulatory passage that runs around the inner room. The passage was lightened by eleven stone windows (Paranavitana, 1936). The walls are preserved to the levels of windows sills, four of which are still in-situ, at a height of about 8 ft. from the original ground level (Paranavitana, 1936).
 
In the inner room (the sanctum) is an Asana (a platform) faced with moulded slabs of stone, measuring 8 ft. square and 2 ft. 7 in. high from the floor level (Paranavitana, 1936). One of these slabs had a masons' mark read as "uturudese"= north side and with the help of that, Paranavitana dated this building to the 8th century A.D. (Paranavitana, 1936). 

The building near the Mahapala Alms-Hall 
This is an oblong building, 76 ft. 6 in. by 45 ft., with grand monolithic pillars, 15 ft. 6 in. in height by 10 in. square (Paranavitana, 1936). It is located within a quadrangle enclosure, 200 ft. by 214 ft. (Bandaranayake, 1974). The main entrance to this enclosure lies in the centre of its northern side and the slab inscription of Mahinda IV stands near this entrance (Bandaranayake, 1974).

References
1) Amarasinghe, K.C. 2015. Identifying the Daladage at Anuradhapura. Social Sciences Academic Forum (SoSAF), Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Kelaniya. p.54
2) Bandaranayake, S., 1974. Sinhalese monastic architecture: the Viharas of Anuradhapura (Vol. 4). Brill. p.382. 
3) Jayasuriya, E., 2016. A guide to the Cultural Triangle of Sri Lanka. Central Cultural Fund. ISBN: 978-955-613-312-7. p.48.
4) Paranavitana, S., 1936. The excavation in the Citadel of Anuradhapura. Memoirs of the Archaeological Survey of Ceylon. Vol. III. Ceylon Government Press. Colombo. pp.2,5-7,14-23.
5) Ranawella, G.S., 2004. Inscription of Ceylon. Volume V, Part II. Department of Archaeology. ISBN: 955-9159-30-5. pp.267-272.

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Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Miniature Stone Stupa, Ruwanweliseya

Miniature Stone Stupa
A miniature Stupa made of stone can be seen on the terrace of the Ruwanweliseya Stupa in Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka. It is believed to have been done by King Nissankamalla (1187-1196 A.D.) in the 12th century A.D. (Wikramagamage, 2004). The Galpotha Slab Inscription of Nissankamalla at Polonnaruwa Ancient City reveals that he built a stone Stupa model at the premises of Ruwanweliseya Stupa after making an offering to it (Wickremasinghe, 1928; Wikramagamage, 2004).
Period: Nissankamalla (1187-1196 A.D.)     Script: Medieval Sinhala     Language: Medieval Sinhala
Transcript: <<...Anuradhapuraye Ruvanmali-mahase-vahanseta satis-laksayak dhana viyadam-kota puja-karava e pujavata satutu devata(van)......asirbbeda kala tena (ga)l dagabak karava e e tanhi sada-cara sila-lakha karava...>>
Translation: He spent thirty-six lakhs on making an offerings to the Ruvanmali-maha-se in Anuradhapura, and at the spot where the Devas (gods) who were delighted with this offering utterd words of benediction, he caused a stone Dagoba to be raised.
Citation: Wickremasinghe, 1928. pp.112,119.
This stone specimen is considered important to understand the shape of a Stupa in the 12th century A.D. (Wikramagamage, 2004). The Stupa has been placed on a square-shaped terrace of which the perimeter is decorated with elephant heads (Wikramagamage, 2004).

Attribution
1) Ruwanwelisaya Stupa 16, Ruwanwelisaya Stupa 17 by Cherubino are licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0  

References
1) Wickremasinghe, D. M. D. Z., 1928. Epigraphia Zeylanica: Being lithic and other inscriptions of Ceylon: Vol, II. Published for the government of Ceylon by Humphrey Milford. pp.112,119.
2) Wikramagamage, C., 2004. Heritage of Rajarata: Major natural, cultural, and historic sites. Colombo. Central Bank of Sri Lanka. pp.67-68.

References

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Rakkhiththa Kanda Viharaya

Rakkhiththa Kanda Viharaya
Photo credit: Pasindu Galgomuwa, Google street view

Rakkhiththakanda Raja Maha Viharaya is a Buddhist temple situated in Kurugama village in Monaragala District, Sri Lanka. The way to the famous Kurullangala prehistoric site is fallen through this temple.

History
As the presence of drip-ledged caves, the history of this site probably runs back to the before or beginning of the Christian era. The caves are believed to had been used as the abodes of Buddhist monks since ancient times. During the Kandyan Period (1597-1815 A.D.), the main cave of this temple has converted to an image house and the paintings and sculptures of the Kandyan tradition are found in it.

A protected site
The drip-ledged cave temple and the Stupa of Rakkhithakanda Purana Vihara situated in Kurugama village, in Wellawaya Divisional Secretary’s Division are archaeological protected monuments, declared by a government gazette notification published on 22 November 2002. 

References
1) The Gazette of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. No: 1264. 22 November 2002.
 
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Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Berendi Kovil

Berendi Kovil
Photo credit: Pasindu Galgomuwa, Google street view

Berendi Kovil is a ruined Hindu temple situated in Sitawaka in Kegalle District, Sri Lanka..

History
The history of Berendi Kovil runs back to the middle of the 16th century (Bell, 1904). Although some believe that Berendi Kovil was built by King Mayadunna (1521-1581 A.D.), the majority are in the belief that this was built by his son, King Rajasinghe I (1581-1593 A.D.). Local tradition says that Rajasinghe I built this shrine after embracing Hinduism in his efforts to escape from the curse of murdering his father, Mayadunna (Bell, 1904; Abeyawardana, 2002). As a result of this deed and his other anti-Buddhist measurements, Rajasinghe I lost his grace among the people of the kingdom (Bell, 1904). Arittakivendu Perumal, the Hindu priest who converted the king to Hinduism is said to have guided in the construction of this shrine (Abeyawardana, 2002).

The name Berendi Kovil is said to be the corrupted version of Berendu Kovil which means "the temple to get redemption" (Bell, 1904).

The Kovil
Berendi Kovil is considered one of the major archaeological monuments belongs to the Sitawaka Kingdom (1521-1593 A.D.). Built-in accordance to the Hindu architecture of South Indian Vijayanagar tradition, this shrine is believed to had been dedicated to Kali Yakshani (devil she Kali).

The site consists of three levels and the Kovil has been erected on the most upper level. The Kovil is rectangular in shape and rises from a paved basement. The stones of the base of the building contain carvings depicting flower and leaf designs. Carved water spouts, volute balustrades, moonstones, and many dressed stone slabs, door-frames are also found at the site (Bell, 1904). A canal paved with stones links the Kovil to the nearby Sitawaka Ganga river (Abeyawardana, 2002). 
 
After this shrine was abandoned, the materials of the Kovil building are believed to have been dismantled to build other nearby constructions. A few short accounts about the ruins of Berendi Kovil are found in the notes by Percival (1800), Forbes (1827), H. White, C.J.R. Le Mesurier (1885), and F.H. Price [(1887) Bell, 1904]. The site was conserved by H.C.P. Bell in 1895. In 2003, the Department of Archaeology conserved the stone monument using bricks to replace damaged parts.

A protected monument
The stone bridge on the way to historic Berandi Kovila in the Grama Niladhari Division of Pahalathalduuwa bearing No.118 in the Divisional Secretariat Division of Dehiovita is an archaeological protected monument, declared by a government gazette notification published on 23 February 2007.
 
References
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.67.
2) Bell, H.C.P., 1904. Report on the Kegalle District of the Province of Sabaragamuwa. Archaeological Survey of Ceylon: XIX-1892. Government Press, Sri Lanka. pp.63-65.
3) The Gazette of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. No: 1486. 23 February 2007. p.128.

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Nakha Vehera

Nakha Vehera
Photo credit: Kunchana Godahewa, Google street view

Nakha Vehera is a ruined square-shaped Stupa situated in the eastern part of the ancient Anuradhapura city, Sri Lanka.

History
According to Mahavamsa (Chap. 10. v.84, Chap. 37. v.44), King Mahasena (275-301 A.D.) built a Stupa in the eastern part of the city where the place of the Yakkha Kalavela situated (Geiger, 1986; Nicholas, 1963). As Nakha Vehera is the only Stupa located at this eastern part of the city, some believe that this could be the Stupa built by Mahasena (Wikramagamage, 2004). However, according to the view of many, this is a Stupa belonging to the late-Anuradhapura Period between the 7th-10th centuries A.D.

The Stupa
Nakha Vehera Stupa is believed to be a monument built according to the Mahayana tradition (Wikramagamage, 2004). This was confirmed by several clay relic caskets and clay tablets discovered from this site (Wikramagamage, 2004). These caskets and tablets are said to have contained Mahayana writings from the verse "ye dharma hetuprabhava" which means "conditions originating from cause" (Wikramagamage, 2004). Stupas with a similar layout have been found from Abhayagiriya Monastery as well as from Polonnaruwa (Satmahal Prasada).
 
The ruins of an image house and some other buildings have been found vicinity of this Stupa.

A protected site
The ancient Nakha Vehera in Kalagampalata village situated in the Divisional Secretary’s Division of Palagala is an archaeological protected monument, declared by a government gazette notification published on 25 September 1958.
 
References
1) Geiger, W., 1986. The Mahāvaṃsa, or, The Great Chronicle of Ceylon. Asian Educational Services, New Delhi. pp.74,271. 
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.150.
3) The government gazette notification. no: 11531. 25 September 1958. 
4) Wikramagamage, C., 2004. Heritage of Rajarata: Major natural, cultural, and historic sites. Colombo. Central Bank of Sri Lanka. p.51.

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Sandagiri Stupa, Tissamaharama

Sandagiri Stupa
Photo credit: Randika VICTOR, Google street view

Sandagiri Stupa is a Stupa situated near Tissamaharama Viharaya in Hambantota District, Sri Lanka. This Stupa is considered one of the oldest Stupas in the country.

History
The history of this Stupa runs back to the pre-Christian era. Although there is no reference on Sandagiri Viharaya in the chronicle Mahavamsa till the 12th century, other Sinhalese chronicles attribute the foundation of Sandagiri Vihara to Mahanaga (3rd century B.C.) and to Kavantissa [(2nd century B.C.) Abeyawardana, 2004; Nicholas, 1963].
 
As mentioned in Mahavamsa (Chap. 60. vv.58-63), Candagiri Viharaya (most probably Sandagiri Viharaya) was restored by King Vijayabahu I [(1055-1110 A.D.) Abeyawardana, 2004; Geiger, 1998; Nicholas, 1963].

The monastery
There are indications that there was a monastic complex built around the Sandagiri Stupa. The ruins of a Janthaghara (bath-house), Bodhighara (Bodhi-tree shrine), Uposthaghara (chapter house), and Patimaghara (image house) have been found.

The Stupa
The shape of the Stupa is said to have been changed from time to time and it was last renovated during the Polonnaruwa Period by King Vijayabau I. The small original Stupa which had been constructed on a berm had a Pradakshinapatha (an ambulatory) around it. Also, the remains of the Stupa indicate that once it had a Chatra-stone (umbrella) and a Yupa-pillar.
 
The preliminary conservation work of the Stupa was initiated in 1987 by the Department of Archaeology. In 2004, with the involvement of the Central Cultural Fund, conservation works were again commenced. The completed Stupa is 60 ft. in height with a circumference of 330 ft. at the base.

The image house
The ancient image house at Sandagiri Viharaya has been built according to the Gandhakuti tradition. It has been built on a raised foundation and to enter the image house one has stepped onto the porch built in front of the Garbha (sanctum) containing the Buddha image. A Pradakshinapatha (ambulatory) runs around the Buddha image. Depending on the architecture, this image house has been dated to the 8th century A.D.

The Bodhi-tree shrine
The Bodhi-tree shrine of Sandagiri Viharaya also belongs to the 8th century A.D. The brick-built square in the middle of this edifice indicates the spot where the ancient Bo-tree had been planted.

A protected site
The ancient Sandagiriya Stupa in Sandagirigama village situated in Ranakeliya North in Tissamaharama Magam Pattuva is an archaeological protected monument, declared by a government gazette notification published on 18 November 1949.
 
References
1) Abeyawardana, H.A.P., 2004. Heritage of Ruhuna: Major natural, cultural and historic sites. Colombo: The Central Bank of Sri Lanka. ISBN: 955-575-073-4. p.124. 
2) Geiger, W., 1998. The Culavamsa: Being the more recent part of the Mahavamsa. Part: I. Asian Educational Services, New Delhi. p.220. 
3) 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.61.
4) The government gazette notification. no: 10045. 18 November 1949.

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Monday, May 24, 2021

Ruwanweliseya

Ruwanweliseya
Ruwanweliseya [also known as Mahathupa (The Great Stupa), Ratnamali/Swarnamali Stupa] is a gigantic Stupa situated in the ancient city of Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka. It is considered the most venerated Buddhist Stupa in the country because of the strong traditional belief that it contains a large quantity of corporeal relics of the Buddha [(Mahavamsa, Chap: XXXI) Geiger, 1986; Wikramagamage, 2004].

History
The Ruwanweliseya Stupa was constructed in Maha Vihara premises by King Dutugemunu [(161-137 B.C.) Jayasuriya, 2016; Wikramagamage, 2004]. Topped up to a height of 120 cubits (180 ft./54.86 m), it was the largest Stupa in the country at the time (Nicholas, 1963; Wikramagamage, 2004).

Construction of the Stupa
The Stupa has been built at a site that is said to have been consecrated by the Buddha (Nicholas, 1963). After introducing Buddhism to Sri Lanka in the 3rd century B.C., this site was marked by an inscribed pillar set up by King Devanampiyatissa (247-207 B.C.) [(Mahavamsa, Chap: XV, vv: 51-53,169-173) Geiger, 1986; Nicholas, 1963]. According to chronicles, the wherewithal to build the Stupa emerged from many parts of the country and its inauguration ceremony was conducted by King Dutugemunu as a great festival with an invited gathering of thousands of Buddhist monks [(Mahavamsa, Chaps: XXVIII-XXXI) Geiger, 1986; Jayasuriya, 2016). However, Dutugemunu died before it was completed and his brother Saddhatissa (reigned: 137-119 B.C.) finished its remaining construction works [(Mahavamsa, Chap: XXXII) Geiger, 1986; Hettiaratchi, 1991; Jayasuriya, 2016; Nicholas, 1963).
 
Royal Patronage
Ruwanweliseya
The Ruwanweliseya Stupa received the patronage of many successive kings such as Lanjatissa (119-110 B.C.), Kallatanaga (110-103 B.C.), Bhatikabhaya (22 B.C.-7 A.D.), Mahadathika Mahanaga (7-19 A.D.), Amandagamani Abhaya (19-29 A.D.), Gajabahu I (114-136 A.D.), Sirinaga I (189-209), Sanghatissa (243-247 A.D.), Mittasena (428 A.D.), Dhatusena (455-473 A.D.), Mahanaga (569-571 A.D.), Aggabodhi I (571-604 A.D.), and Moggallana III [(614-619 A.D.) Geiger, 1986; Geiger, 1998 (I); Hettiaratchi, 1991; Nicholas, 1963; Wikramagamage, 2004]. The elephant frieze, terrace, courtyard, railings, frontispieces at the cardinal points, gateways, umbrellas, and decorative stucco works were added to the Stupa by these kings (Nicholas, 1963; Wikramagamage, 2004).

Also, the other components of the Maha Vihara monastic site were developed or built by several kings including Devanampiyatissa (247-207 B.C.), Vasabha (67-111 A.D.), Mahinda II (777-797 A.D.), and Mahinda IV [(956-972 A.D.) Nicholas, 1963].

Destruction & restorations
The Stupa was fallen into decay after the Cola conquest of Anuradhapura in 993 A.D. (Nicholas, 1963). It was restored to its original glory again during the Polonnaruwa Period by King Parakramabahu I (1153-1186 A.D.) [(Culavamsa, Chap: 78: vv.96-98) Geiger, 1998 (II); Jayasuriya, 2016; Nicholas, 1963; Wikramagamage, 2004]. King Nissankamalla (1187-1196 A.D.) carried out repairs and erected a Stone Replica of the Stupa on the terrace (Hettiaratchi, 1991; Jayasuriya, 2016; Nicholas, 1963; Wickremasinghe, 1928).

By the turn of the 19th century, most of the ancient Stupas in the country were in a state of ruins. The Ruwanweliseya Stupa also had turned into a mound of earth at that time. The Buddhist monk Ven. Naranvita Sumanasara Thera initiated the most recent restoration works of Ruwanweliseya and they were completed by the Swarnamali Stupa Development Society in 1940 (Jayasuriya, 2016; Wikramagamage, 2004). 
 
The height of the present Stupa is 103.1 m (338 ft.) from the paved compound (Jayasuriya, 2016; Wikramagamage, 2004). The gold-painted pinnacle and the crystal (crest-gem) fixed on the top of the Stupa measure 7.6 m [(25 ft.) Jayasuriya, 2016; Wikramagamage, 2004]. The diameter of the dome is 287.12 m [(942 ft.) Jayasuriya, 2016].
 
Surrounding monuments
The Stupa is surrounded by a number of other monuments and artefacts. They include ancient Vahalkadas (frontispieces) elephant frieze, flower altar, boundary walls, Chatra-stone, Miniature Stupa of Nissankamalla and the statues of Buddha, King Dutugemunu, Batika, and Queen Viharamahadevi.

Maha Viharaya area
Lovamahapaya
The Ruwanweliseya Stupa has been constructed within the ancient park known as Mahamegha Gardens which was originally a royal pleasure garden (Jayasuriya, 2016). It was bestowed to Buddhist monks headed by Arahant Mahinda Thera [son of Emperor Asoka (c.268-232 B.C.)] by King Devanampiyatissa in the 3rd century B.C. (Jayasuriya, 2016). The park presently covers the section to the south of the Thuparama, east of the Abhaya Wewa and Mirisawetiya, west of the Jetavanaramaya and Malwathu-Oya and north of the Isurumuniya and Dakkhina Viharaya.
 
The first monastery built within this park was Tissarama (Jayasuriya, 2016; Wikramagamage, 2004). It was renamed Mahameghavannarama and later was known as Maha Vihara (Wikramagamage, 2004). Many important Buddhist institutes and monuments were established in this Maha Vihara area throughout the first millennium including the Ruwanweliseya Stupa (Jayasuriya, 2016). The other main monuments include Sri Maha Bodhiya, Kujjhatissa Stupa, Alms-hall, Ransimalaka, Yathuru Pokuna and other ponds, Janthaghara, octagonal pillar, Lahabat-ge, Lovamahapaya, Mayura Pirivena and other monastery buildings (Wikramagamage, 2004).

Inscriptions
Limestone blocks containing personal names in Early-Brahmi characters have been discovered from the terrace on the eastern side and the southern Vahalkada (frontispiece) of the Stupa (Paranavitana, 1970). Also, a small fragment of a slab containing a record of 2nd century B.C. was also found near the western gate of the Stupa (Dias, 1991).
 
Period: 2nd-century B.C.-1st century A.D.           Script: Early-Brahmi           Language: Old Sinhala
Transcript: Shiva(ha)                                              Translation: (of) Shiva
Reference: Paranavitana, 1970. p.8.
 
Eight stones containing inscriptions of the 2nd-3rd century A.D. were found during the dismantling of the ruined eastern Vahalkada of the Stupa (Paranavitana, 2001). Besides them, slab and pillar inscriptions belonging to the reigns of King Gajabahu I (112-134 A.D.), Kanitthatissa (164-192 A.D.), Sirinaga I (196-215 A.D.), Gothabhaya (254-267 A.D.), Buddhadasa (388-416 A.D.), and Nissankamalla (1187-1196 A.D.) have been discovered from the Stupa site (Dias, 1991; Paranavitana, 1933; Paranavitana, 1983; Paranavitana, 2001; Wickremasinghe, 1928). 
 
Period: 2nd-3rd centuries A.D.           Script: Later-Brahmi           Language: Old Sinhala
Transcript: (1) Disa Butayaha batini (2) Anulabiya pahana (3) Maha-cetahi niyati
Translation: Success. The stone of Anulabi, wife of Butaya, is dedicated to the Mahathupa
Reference: Paranavitana, 2001. pp.221-222.
 
A fragmentary slab inscription of the 8th-10th centuries A.D. was copied on 23 October 1969 by the Department of Archaeology (Dias, 1991).
 
Period: 8th-10th centuries A.D.           Script: Medieval Sinhala           Language: Medieval Sinhala
Transcript: perat geya atu...                Translation: ...inside the house in front...
Reference: Dias, 1991. p.18.
 
A number of stone slabs with inscriptions of the 10th-12th centuries A.D. are found fixed on the stone pavement around the Stupa (Hettiaratchi, 1991). These inscriptions are called Padara-lipi and they contain personal names of those who donated the stone slab for the pavement. 

Period: 11-12 centuries A.D.           Script: Medieval Sinhala           Language: Medieval Sinhala
Transcript: (1) Siddhartha-vedi (2)-thenge gal thu (3)-nai
Translation: The three stones (placed/donated by) the elder Siddhartha
Reference: Hettiaratchi, 1991. p.164.

Ruins around Ruwanweliseya .
References
1) Dias, M., 1991. Epigraphical notes (Nos 1 -18). Colombo: Department of Archaeology. pp.5,15,18,21,23,29,71-72.
2) Geiger, W., 1986. The Mahāvaṃsa, or, The Great Chronicle of Ceylon. Asian Educational Services, New Delhi. pp.101,109,187-227,228-231,240-243,246,257,261.
3) Geiger, W., 1998 (I). The Culavamsa: Being the more recent part of the Mahavamsa. Part: I. Asian Educational Services, New Delhi. pp.28,34,37,61,69,78. 
4) Geiger, W., 1998 (II). The Culavamsa: Being the more recent part of the Mahavamsa. Part: II. Asian Educational Services, New Delhi. pp.113-114.  
5) Hettiaratchi, 1991. Inscriptions on the stone pavement Ruvanveliseya, Anuradhapura (In Sinhala). Epigraphia Zeylanica being lithic and other inscription of Ceylon: Vol. VI, Part 2. Archaeological Survey of Ceylon. Sri Lanka. pp.161-166.
6) Jayasuriya, E., 2016. A guide to the Cultural Triangle of Sri Lanka. Central Cultural Fund. ISBN: 978-955-613-312-7. pp.48-51.
7) 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). pp.134-136.
8) Paranavitana, S., 1933. (Edited and translated by Wikramasinghe, D.M.D.Z.; Codrington, H.W.) Ruvaveliseya pillar inscription of the reign of Buddhadasa Epigraphia Zeylanica: Being Lithic and Other Inscriptions of Ceylon : Vol. III. Printed at the Department of Government Printing, Sri Lanka (Ceylon) for the Archeological Department. pp.71-100.
9) Paranavitana, S., 1970. Inscription of Ceylon (Vol. I). Department of Archaeology Ceylon. p.8.
10) Paranavitana, S., 1983. Inscriptions of Ceylon: Vol. II. Part I. Department of Archaeology, Sri Lanka. pp.86-87.
11) Paranavitana, S., 2001 (Edited by Dias, M.). Inscriptions of Ceylon: Vol. II. Part II. Archaeological Survey Department, Sri Lanka. pp.127-131,177-178,188-189,221-222.
12) Wickremasinghe, D. M. D. Z., 1928. Epigraphia Zeylanica: Being lithic and other inscriptions of Ceylon: Vol, II. Published for the government of Ceylon by Humphrey Milford. p.119.
13) Wikramagamage, C., 2004. Heritage of Rajarata: Major natural, cultural, and historic sites. Colombo. Central Bank of Sri Lanka. pp.62-73.

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Sunday, May 23, 2021

Galabedda Biso Pokuna

Galabedda Biso Pokuna
Photo credit: Sagara Sanjeewa, Google street view

Galabedda Biso Pokuna is an ancient pond situated in Galabedda village in Monaragala District, Sri Lanka.

History
Galabedda: an ancient administrative centre
The history of this pond runs back to the Polonnaruwa Period. In the 11th and 12th centuries, the southern part of Rohana had been divided into two major territorial divisions along the Walave Ganga River (Nicholas, 1963). The area to the east of the river was known as Atthsahassa-rattha (the province of 8,000 villages) and its administrative centre was Uddhanadvara (or Udundora), present Galabedda (Nicholas, 1963). Uddhanadvara was the residence of Queen Sugala and it was attacked by the troops of Parakramabahu (reigned: 1153-1186 A.D.) in order to capture Queen Sugala and the Tooth and Bowl Relics of the Buddha (Nicholas, 1963).

Ruins at Galabedda
There is a ruined palace building surrounded by a rampart and a moat. The basic ground plan of this palace is similar to that of the 12th-century palaces at Anuradhapura (Palace of Vijayabahu), Polonnaruwa (Palace of Parakramabahu I, and Nissankamalla), and Panduwasnuwara (Palace of Parakramabahu I), but smaller in size (Prematileke, 1990). The Galabedda Biso Pokuna which is located in close proximity to this site is believed to be a part of this palace complex.

The Pond
The pond is also known among the locals as Kellane-vala (the pit of girls). It is a square-shaped pond bounded by a parapet. The pond has four entrances (at cardinal directions) with steps leading to the square pool below. The floor of the pond is paved with stone slabs and four Makara (dragon) mouths fixed on the four cardinal directions issues water to the pond. Stone slabs with carved figures of damsels are found on both sides of each spout. Stone conduits are available for the water to enter and exit the pond.

A vestibule and a beautifully carved urinal stone have been found near the pond.

Galabedda Biso Pokuna
Photo credit: Sagara Sanjeewa, Google street view
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References
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). pp.52,67.
2) Prematileke, L., 1990. The architecture of the Polonnaruwa period 800-1200 A.D.. Wijesekara, N. (Editor in chief). Archaeological Department centenary (1890-1990): Commemorative series: Volume III: Architecture. Department of Archaeology (Sri Lanka). p.41.

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Seelawathi Pabbatha Viharaya

Seelawathi Pabbatha Viharaya (also known as Seelawathi Parvata Viharaya, Seelawathi Raja Maha Viharaya) is a Buddhist temple situated near Mulkirigala Raja Maha Viharaya in Hambantota District, Sri Lanka.

History
The history of the Seelawathi temple is obscure as there is no exact literary evidence for the confirmation of its earliest phase of construction. F. Lewis who published a brief account regarding this site in the "Journal of the Ceylon Branch of Royal Asiatic Society (Vol. XXX)" in 1926 mentions a worn rock inscription written in ancient letters (Lewis, 1926).

As mentioned by Lewis, there was a fraction between the monks of Seelawathigala Viharaya and the nearby Mulkirigala Viharaya as they belonged to two different sects (Lewis, 1926). As a result of this, Seelawathi gradually became a place of neglect and later remained in a condition of disrepair (Lewis, 1926). When Lewis visit the site in 1926, a monk from Siam (present Thailand) was in charge of this temple (Lewis, 1926). As recorded in Lewis's note, this monk who was on a pilgrimage to Anuradhapura and other sacred places had occupied Seelawathi after hearing its past glory (Lewis, 1926). He learned Sinhala, the majority language of the country, and restored the temple with the help of others (Lewis, 1926).

The Stupa and artefacts
On the summit of the Seelawathi rock is a Stupa and a separate tower of unique design. The tower, according to the Lewis account, has been built by the Siamese monk (Lewis, 1926). As further mentioned in his account, the Stupa has been built upon an old Stupa mound that had been vandalized by treasure hunters. However, a Karanduwa-pettiya (casket-box) with a kind of relic (a minute stone) had been recovered from this vandalized mound by the Siamese monk during the reconstruction works of the Stupa (Lewis, 1926).

Lewis also published in his article a photograph of a broken image that had been given to him by the Siamese monk (Lewis, 1926).

References
1) Lewis, F., 1926. Note on an image obtained at Silavatiparvata temple. Journal of the Ceylon Branch of Royal Asiatic Society, Vol: XXX (79). pp.280-285.

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