Tuesday, May 25, 2021

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.

Location Map
This page was last updated on 28 May 2021
For a complete tourist map follow this link: Lankapradeepa Tourist Map

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