Thursday, 3 February 2022

Wasammale Hill

Wasammale is a ruined archaeological site situated near Mihintale in Anuradhapura District, Sri Lanka. 

Legend says that Prince Pandukabhaya (5th century B.C.) hid in Wasammale to avoid his capture by his uncles. King Kasyapa I (473-495 A.D.) is believed to have taken refuge in this cave. In an ancient cave found here, designs and paintings typical of the Kandyan Period have been found.

Painting fragment
In a cave located at the northern slope of the Wasammale hill are several fragments of paintings drawn on an area of about 4 x 3 m (Pagngnaloka Thero, 2014). They were discovered in 1968 and some scholars such as Ariya Lagamuwa have dated them to the period between 4-7th centuries A.D. (Pagngnaloka Thero, 2014).

According to the view of some, these paintings may depict a theme of Mahayana tradition and this cave site could be either the shrine of Goddess Mininal (or Goddess Tara,  the most beloved goddess of the Mahayana Buddhist pantheon) or the shrine of Nagendra those are mentioned in the Mihintale Slab Inscriptions of Mahinda IV [(956-972 A.D.) Pagngnaloka Thero, 2014]. Depending on this opinion, some have dated these paintings to the 7-9th centuries A.D. (Pagngnaloka Thero, 2014).

1) Pagngnaloka Thero, K., 2014. මිහින්තලේ වසම්මලේ ලෙන් සිතුවම් පිළිබඳව අධ්‍යයනයක්. Proceedings of the Undergraduate’s Research Conference on Archaeology, Department of Archaeology, University of Kelaniya, Sri Lanka. p 16.

Location Map
This page was last updated on 15 March 2022
For a complete tourist map follow this link: Lankapradeepa Tourist Map


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