Sunday, June 27, 2021

Talaguru Vehera, Hambantota

Talaguru Vehera is a Buddhist monastery site located in Veherakema in Hambantota District, Sri Lanka. The Nimalawa Aranya Senasanaya is situated near this site.

History
Some ancient references to this temple can be found from the historical literature in the country. The chronicle Mahavamsa mentions a Buddhist monastery named Tuladhara (or Tulakara) Pabbata Vihara situated in the ancient Ruhuna Principality in the 2nd century B.C. (Somadeva, 2006). As recorded in the chronicle, it was founded by the ruler Kakavannatissa, the father of King Dutugemunu [(161-137 B.C.) Nicholas, 1963]. According to Nicholas, the ancient Tulahara Pabbata Vihara which is described in Mahavamsa could be the monastery called Talaguru Vehera situated at the present location (Nicholas, 1963; Somadeva, 2006).

This identification is further strengthened by a few rock inscriptions found within the temple premises. Written in late-Brahmi characters of about the 3rd century A.D., two inscriptions indited on the rock near the ruined Stupa clearly reveal the ancient name of the present monastery as Talakara-pava Vihara (Paranavitana, 2001).

The site
The ruins of two ancient buildings are found at the site (Somadeva, 2006). On the summit of the rock, where the inscriptions are found, there is a mound of ancient bricks probably remains of a Stupa (Somadeva, 2006).

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). p.62.
2) Paranavitana, S., 2001 (Edited by Dias, M.). Inscriptions of Ceylon: Vol. II. Part II. Archaeological Survey Department, Sri Lanka. pp.263-266.
3) Somadeva, R., 2006. Urban origins in southern Sri Lanka. Doctoral thesis in Archaeology at Uppsala University. pp.121-122.

Location Map
This page was last updated on 27 June 2021
For a complete tourist map follow this link: Lankapradeepa Tourist Map

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