Sunday, 13 March 2022

Yatahalena Viharaya

Yatahalena Raja Maha Viharaya is a Buddhist temple situated in Yattogoda village in Kegalle District, Sri Lanka.

History
This temple is probably identical with the Yatthalaya Viharaya of the chronicle Mahavamsa which was in existence in the reign of King Devanampiyatissa [(250-210 B.C.) Nicholas, 1963]. It is believed that regional King Mahanaga's (3rd century B.C.) queen gave birth to a son, Prince Yatthalakatissa, at this spot when they were fleeing from the wrath of the queen of Devanampiyatissa (Abeyawardana, 2002; Bell, 1904). The cave at this site was originally known as Yatalatissa and was transformed to Yatahalena subsequently (Abeyawardana, 2002).

The Yatahalena cave is 37 ft. in length and 17.5 ft. in breadth (Abeyawardana, 2002). It accommodates a reclining statue of Buddha 30 ft. long (Abeyawardana, 2002; Bell, 1904). A few cave inscriptions belonging to the 3rd century B.C.-1st century A.D. are found here (Abeyawardana, 2002).
 
Script: Early-Brahmi                                               Language: Old Sinhala
Transcript: Upali-gamasi pa[take] Ka[cara-ga]masi pa(take) Devanapiyasa batika rajha-Dusatarasa puta aya-Sivasa-puta aya-Dusatara-putasa Gamani Sivena karita Mahasudasane lene agata-anagata catu-disa-sagasa dine.
Translation: A lot in Upali-gama and a lot in Ka[cara-ga]ma are (granted to the cave). The cave named Mahasudassana of Gamani Siva, son of prince Dutasara, son of prince Siva, son of King Duhatara, brother of Devanampiya, is given to the Sangha of the four quarters, present and absent.
Citation: Paranavitana, 1970. p.60.

A protected site
The Yatahalena cave, the Buddhist shrine, caves with inscriptions in Yatahalena Vihara premises in Galigamuwa Divisional Secretary’s Division are archaeological protected monuments, declared by a government gazette notification published on 16 February 1968.
 
See also
 
References
1) Abeyawardana, H.A.P., 2002. Heritage of Sabaragamuwa: Major natural, cultural and historic sites. Sabaragamuwa Development Bank and The Central Bank of Sri Lanka. ISBN: 955-575-077-7. p.48.
2)  Bell, H.C.P., 1904. Report on the Kegalle District of the Province of Sabaragamuwa. Archaeological Survey of Ceylon: XIX-1892. Government Press, Sri Lanka. pp.35-36.
3) 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.122.
4) Paranavitana, S., 1970. Inscription of Ceylon (Vol. I). Department of Archaeology Ceylon. pp.60-61. 
5) The Gazette of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. No: 14789. 16 February 1968.
 
Location Map
This page was last updated on 13 March 2022
For a complete tourist map follow this link: Lankapradeepa Tourist Map

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