Talaguru Vehera (Hambantota)

Talaguru Vehera (Sinhala: හම්බන්තොට තලගුරු වෙහෙර) is a Buddhist monastery site located in Veherakema in Hambantota District, Sri Lanka. The Nimalawa Aranya Senasanaya is situated near this site.

Some ancient references to this temple can be found in the historical literature of 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 Later 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 the remains of a Stupa (Somadeva, 2006).

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 4 June 2022
For a complete tourist map follow this link: Lankapradeepa Tourist Map

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