Saturday, November 27, 2021

Torawa Mailewa Viharaya

Torawa Mailewa Viharaya (ancient Tisssa Pabbata Viharaya) is a Buddhist temple situated in Thorava village in Kurunegala District, Sri Lanka.

History
The history of this temple dates back to the 2nd century B.C., as evidenced by the drip-ledged caves with early-Brahmi inscriptions (Nicholas, 1963). Also, a rock inscription belonging to the reign of King Gajabahu I (114-136 A.D.) have been discovered from this site (Paranavitana, 2001). This inscription reveals the ancient name of this site as Tisa-pavata Viharaya [(Tissa Pabbata Viharaya) Paranavitana, 2001].
 
Ruins and inscriptions
There are several inscribed caves, ruins of two Stupas, a few ponds and some ancient stone works at the site (Nicholas, 1963; Paranavitana, 2001).
 
Brahmi inscriptions
A number of Brahmi cave inscriptions dating from 2nd century B.C. to 1st century A.D. have been discovered from the temple premises. Of them, Prof. Senarath Paranavitana has published about 8 early-Brahmi and 6 later-Brahmi inscriptions in his book issued in 1970 (Paranavitana, 1970).
 
Script: Early Brahmi                                                         Language: Old Sinhala
Transcript: Maharajaha panita-badagarika parumaka Shumanaha
Translation: [The cave] of the chief Sumana, officer in charge of the store-house of goods in deposits, of the great king.
Notes: It is possible that the name of the king was given at the begining of the record, but has now become illegible.
Citation: Paranavitana, 1970. p.81.

Rock inscription of Gajabahu
An inscription dated in the 4th regnal year of a king styled Gamani Abaya has been found indited on a rock near the modern temple. This monarch, according to scholars, is non other than King Gajabahu I (Paranavitana, 2001). The inscription records certain grants made to the old monastery that existed at this place (Nicholas, 1963; Paranavitana, 2001). 
 
Reign: Gajabahu I        Period: 2nd century A.D.        Script: Later Brahmi        Language: Old Sinhala 
Content: The inscription records certain donations made in the 4th regnal year of Gajabahu I by a person named Nakayi. He donated the tanks named Tisaviya, Ranaviya, and Dalamaviya with paddy fields yielding 8 karisas (32 amunas) and 1,000 pieces of money obtained from Minister Maha Anulayi to the monastery named Tisapavata. One (half) share of that donation to the Stupa and one (half) to the community of monks were given.
Reference: Paranavitana, 2001.

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.93.
2) Paranavitana, S., 1970. Inscriptions of Ceylon: Volume I: Early Brahmi Inscriptions. Department of Archaeology Ceylon. pp.81,99.
3)  Paranavitana, S., 2001 (Edited by Dias, M.). Inscriptions of Ceylon: Vol. II. Part II. Archaeological Survey Department, Sri Lanka. p.210.
 
Location Map
This page was last updated on 27 November 2021
For a complete tourist map follow this link: Lankapradeepa Tourist Map

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