Ambagamuwa Rock Inscription of Vijayabahu I

Ambagamuwa Rock Inscription engraved by King Vijayabahu I gives information about his offerings made to the Buddha's footprint on Sri Pada mountain.
Ambagamuwa Rock Inscription
Ambagamuwa Rock Inscription (Photo credit: Kamil Kabeer, Google street view)
The Ambagamuwa Rock Inscription of King Vijayabahu I is found engraved on two boulders on the summit of Akuruketugala-kanda mountain (inscribed rock hill) in Ambagamuwa village in Kandy District, Sri Lanka. 

The inscription
The inscription inscribed on two rock boulders covers an area of 12 ft. 3 in. by 9 ft. 3 in. of the surface of the first boulder and 9 ft. 3 in. by 9 ft. 7 in. of that of the second boulder (Ranawella, 2007; Wikramasinghe, 1928). There are 33 lines of writing on the first boulder and 25 on the second (Ranawella, 2007). The letters are incised between ruled lines about four inches apart (Ranawella, 2007; Wikramasinghe, 1928). The letters exhibit mixture of old and more advanced types as well as some forms hitherto not found in Sinhalese inscriptions (Wikramasinghe, 1928).

The inscription is dated in the 38th regnal year of King Vijayabahu I (1055-1110 A.D.), reckoning from the date of his accession at Polonnaruwa in 1070 after expelling the Cola forces from the island (Ranawella, 2007).

This inscription reveals the names of King Vijayabahu's parents as Abha Salamevan Maharajapa (His Majesty the Great King) and Devu gon-rajana [(Chief Queen Deva) Ranawella, 2007]. It says the king's victory over the Tamil forces (Colas) who dominated the northern half of the country at the time (Ranawella, 2007; Wikramasinghe, 1928). It further gives information about his offerings made to the sacred footprint of the Buddha on the peak of the Sri Pada Mountain and charitable deeds made for the convenience of the pilgrims there (Ranawella, 2007; Wikramasinghe, 1928). This information is followed by the usual statement of sanctions in respect of the villages dedicated to the shrine and the names of the ministers who carried out the order of the king in council (Wikramasinghe, 1928).

Ambagamuwa inscription confirms the fact in the chronicle Mahavamsa (ch.60 vv.64-65) that King Vijayabahu I made offerings and endowments to the Buddhist shrine on the peak of the Sri Pada mountain (Ranawella, 2007; Wikramasinghe, 1928). A copy of this inscription has been found from the premises of Gilimale Rankoth Viharaya (Ranawella, 2007).

A protected monument
The Ambagamuwa rock inscription of King Vijayabahu I at Akuruketugala in Ambagamuwa village in the Divisional Secretary’s Division of Ambagamuwa is an archaeological protected monument, declared by a government Gazette notification published on 3 December 1948. 
1) Ranawella, S., 2007. Inscription of Ceylon. Volume VI. Department of Archaeology. ISBN: 978-955-91-59-61-2. pp.6-11.
2) The gazette notification. No: 9925. 3 December 1948.
3) Wikramasinghe, D. M. D. Z., 1928. Epigraphia Zeylanica: Being lithic and other inscriptions of Ceylon Vol II: London. Published for the government of Ceylon by Humphrey Milford, pp.202-218.

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

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