Buddhism and Sri Lanka

According to Sri Lankan chronicles, Buddhism was introduced to Sri Lanka in the 3rd century B.C. by Arhant Mahinda, during the reign of King Devanampiya Tissa.

Sri Lankan Inscriptions

The earliest trace of epigraphy in South Asia is said to be found in Sri Lanka. A piece of pottery, dated to circa the 4th century B.C. has been discovered from the Anuradhapura citadel.

Architecture of Sri Lanka

The architecture of Sri lanka has a long history and shows diversed forms and styles, mainly infuenced by their religions and traditional beliefs.

Sri Lankan Antiquities

Inherited from the past, Sri Lanka has a large number of antiques with cultural and historical significance which reflects the glory of past era.

Visit Sri Lanka

Located in the northern waters of the Indian Ocean, Sri Lanka is an island blessed with a large number of attractons which has made the country an ideal destination for the tourism.

Thursday, 30 June 2022

Temple of the Tooth Relic, Kandy

Temple of the Tooth Relic Kandy
The Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic or Sri Dalada Maligawa (Sinhala: ශ්‍රී දළදා මාළිගාව; Tamil: தலதா மாளிகை) is a Buddhist place of worship situated in the heart of the City of Kandy, Sri Lanka. It is considered the most venerated Buddhist shrine in the country, as it houses the left eye tooth of the Buddha that was brought to the country in the 4th century A.D. (Abeywardana, 2004). The Mahanayake Theras (the chief monks) of the Asgiriya Vihara Chapter and Malwathu Vihara Chapter as well as the Diyawadana Nilame (the chief lay custodian) hold the custodianship of the Tooth Relic (Wijesuriya, 2000). The temple is also the key feature of the Kandy World Heritage Site, declared in 1988 (Wijesuriya, 2000).

World Heritage Site: Sacred City of Kandy

Location: Central Province, Sri Lanka 
Coordinates: N7 17 37 E80 38 25
Date of Inscription: 1988
Description: This sacred Buddhist site, popularly known as the city of Senkadagalapura, was the last capital of the Sinhala kings whose patronage enabled the Dinahala culture to flourish for more than 2,500 years until the occupation of Sri Lanka by the British in 1815. It is also the site of the Temple of the Tooth Relic (the sacred tooth of the Buddha), which is a famous pilgrimage site.
Criteria:  (iv) The monumental ensemble of Kandy, rebuilt under the reign of Keerti Sri Rajasimha, is an outstanding example of a type of construction in which the Royal Palace and the Temple of the Tooth of Buddha are juxtaposed. Since the 4th century it has been customary to do this. In the descriptive account left by the Chinese traveller Hiuen Tsiangin in 629, the Temple of the Tooth of Anuradhapura was in close proximity to the palace. The same was true for the temples built wherever the relic, a true palladium of the Sinhalese monarchy, was carried each time the capital was changed
                (vi) The Temple of the Tooth, the palatial complex, and the sacred city of Kandy are directly and tangibly associated with the history of the spread of Buddhism, one of humanity’s great religions. Built to house the relic of the tooth of Buddha, which had come from Kalinga, India, to Sri Lanka during the reign of Sri Meghavanna (310-328), when it was transferred a final time, the Temple of Kandy bears witness to an ever flourishing cult.
Reference: 450; Sacred City of KandyUNESCO World Heritage Centre, United Nations.
 
History of the Tooth Relic
The arrival of the Tooth Relic in Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka
Hemamali and Dantha
According to ancient texts such as Mahavamsa, Dathavamsa and Rajavaliya, the Tooth Relic which was obtained after the Parinirvana of the Buddha had been preserved in the Kingdom of Kalinga (present Orissa, India) and it was in the possession of the kingdom's leader, King Guhasiva (Coningham & Lewer, 1999; Hocart, 1931; Jayasuriya, 2016). When the king of Sravasti came to fight to obtain the relic, King Guhasiva instructed his daughter Hemamali and his sister's son Prince Dantha, that if he was defeated by the enemy at the battle, take the relic to his friend Mahasena (275-301 A.D.), the king of Sri Lanka (Abeywardana, 2004; Jayasuriya, 2016). King Guhasiva was defeated at the battle and Hemamali and her husband, Dantha disguised themselves as ascetics and left Kalinga to hand over the relic to Mahasena (Jayasuriya, 2016).

The two royals entered Sri Lanka at Lankapatuna (a place located in Trincomalee District), headed to Anuradhapura and handed the relic to Mahasena's son Kitsirimeghavanna (301-328 A.D.) who was king at the time (Abeywardana, 2004; Hocart, 1931; Medhananda, 2003; Seneviratna, 1975). Welcomed by the king, the relic was initially deposited in Meghagiri Viharaya (present Isurumuniya) and later moved on to a special site named Damma-cakka Viharaya (Abeywardana, 2004; Hocart, 1931).

As a symbolic authority to rule the country
Velaikkara Slab Inscription
Since the 5th century A.D., Sri Lankan kings constructed a building (Dalada-ge: the Temple of the Tooth Relic) specially designed for the Tooth Relic along with the Bowl Relic in their respective kingdoms as they were considered the most important symbols of royalty (Abeywardana, 2004; Hocart, 1931; The National Atlas of Sri Lanka, 2007; Wijesuriya, 2000). It is widely accepted that the one who holds the Tooth Relic has the right to govern the country (Abeywardana, 2004; Seneviratna, 1975; The National Atlas of Sri Lanka, 2007). Therefore, buildings designed to place the Tooth Relic were very often placed in the vicinity of the Royal Palace by kings from the Anuradhapura Period to the Kandyan Period (Coningham & Lewer, 1999; Hocart, 1931; The National Atlas of Sri Lanka, 2007; Wijesuriya, 2000).

Kitsirimeghavanna didn't construct a special building for the Tooth Relic but used the building known till then as Damma-cakka (Hocart, 1931; Seneviratna, 1975). The first Temple of the Tooth Relic was erected during the reign of King Dhatusena [(455-473 A.D.) Coningham & Lewer, 1999]. Chinese monk Fa-Hsien in the 5th century A.D. and Hiuen Tsang in the 7th century A.D. speak eloquently of the magnificence of the Temple of the Tooth Relic in Anuradhapura and the rituals connected with it (Jayasuriya, 2016).

From the very outset, the Tooth Relic was associated with the Abhayagiri Viharaya, one of the two great fraternities of monks at the time (Hocart, 1931). This association is evident in the 12th century Tamil Velaikkara Slab Inscription of Polonnaruwa where it is mentioned that on the instruction of King Vijayabahu I (1055-1100 A.D.), a commander named Nuvarakal Deva-Senevirattar built the Temple of Tooth Relic in Vijayarajapuram or Pulanari (Polonnaruwa City) to permanently deposit the Tooth and the Bowl relics of the Buddha which were at the Uttaramula of Abhayagiri Viharaya (Wickremasinghe, 1928). 


From Anuradhapura to Polonnaruwa
Atadage
The Kingdom of Anuradhapura fell under the rule of the Chola Empire when the invaders took the last king of Anuradhapura, King Mahinda V (982-1017 A.D.) as a captive to India. Cholas ruled the country for 53 years until Vijayabahu I (1055-1110 A.D.) defeated them and re-established the Sinhalese lineage in 1070 A.D. During the reign of Vijayabahu I, the Tooth and Bowl relics were deposited in a special building called Atadage. King Parakramabahu I (1153-1186 A.D.) conducted ceremonies and rituals in honour of the Tooth Relic (Seneviratna, 1975). King Nissankamalla (1187-1196 A.D.) deposited the relic in the Hetadage, a temple built by him (Nicholas, 1963). The Pali chronicle Dathavamsa regarding the history of the tooth relic was written in the early 13th century.


From Polonnaruwa to Dambadeniya
Vijayasundararamaya
The Polonnaruwa Kingdom was abandoned in the 13th century and the new kingdom was established in Dambadeniya where two temples of Tooth Relic were built, one at the premises of Vijayasundararamaya and the other on the Summit of the Rock Palace, by King Parakramabahu II [(1236-1270 A.D.) Hocart, 1931]. In 1284, after the death of Buwanekabahu I (1272-1284 A.D.), the South Indian Pandyans invaded Yapahuwa, the then capital of Dambadeniya and looted all the royal treasures including the Tooth Relic. However, the relic was recovered again by King Parakramabahu III (1287-1293 A.D.) through negotiations with Pandyans (Hocart, 1931). Dalada Sirita, a Sinhalese text based on the Pali chronicle Dathavamsa was composed in 1318, during the reign of King Parakramabahu IV [(1302-1326 A.D.) Seneviratna, 1975].


From Dambadeniya to Gampola and to Kotte
During the Gampola Period (1341-1412 A.D.), the Tooth Relic was kept at the Niyamgampaya Viharaya (Abeywardana, 2004). It was removed to Jayawardanapura Kotte when the capital moved there in 1412 (Abeywardana, 2004).

Delgamuwa Viharaya
After the death of King Bhuvanekabahu VII (1521–1551 A.D.) and the designation of Dharmapala as the successor, the political stability of the country became unstable. Therefore the Tooth Relic was moved from Kotte to Sitawaka by Hiripitiye Diyawadana Nilame, the noble person who was entrusted with the custody of the relic and presented it to King Mayadunna [(1521–1581 A.D.) Pieris, 1920]. The relic was then hidden in a Kurahan Gala (maize grinding stone) at Delgamuwa Viharaya for protection and it remained there for over 40 years.

In 1560 the Portuguese claimed to have captured the Tooth Relic and taken it to Goa in India (Hocart, 1931). The King Bayinnaung (1550-1581 A.D.) of Pegu (present Myanmar) sent officials to Goa and offered the Portuguese a sum for the Tooth Relic but it was denied (Hocart, 1931). Dom Constantino de Braganza, a Portuguese viceroy who obtained the alleged Tooth Relic pounded the relic in a brazen mortar and threw the powder into a brazier of live coals, after which the whole was cast into the sea (Hocart, 1931; Pieris, 1920). However, the Tooth Relic captured by the Portuguese was an imitation carried by Veediya Bandara and the original remained within Sri Lanka (Hocart, 1931; Pieris, 1920).


From Kotte to Kandy and the building of the present Temple of the Tooth Relic
Konappu Bandara who recorded a successful victory over the Portuguese at Danthure, near Kandy in 1592 ascended the throne as King Vimaladharmasuriya I (1592–1604 A.D). He brought the Tooth Relic from the Delgamuwa Viharaya to safeguard it from the Portuguese and was placed in a two-storied temple built in the neighbourhood of the Royal Palace at Senkadagala [(present Kandy) Abeywardana, 2004; Pieris, 1920; Seneviratna & Polk, 1992].

In 1603, the Portuguese invaded Kandy, destroyed the Temple of the Tooth Relic and claimed that they destroyed the Tooth Relic too (Abeywardana, 2004). However, the guardian monks had managed to flee with the relic to Medamahanuwara in Dumbara (Abeywardana, 2004). King Rajasinha II (1629-1687 A.D.) who recovered the Tooth Relic later re-erected the Temple of the Tooth Relic in the same place (Abeywardana, 2004). It is assumed that this place was somewhere between the present fans of Natha and Pattini. Later King Vimaladharmasuriya II (1687-1707 A.D.) constructed a three-storied building to accommodate the relic and then after it was destroyed, King Sri Vira Parakrama Narendrasinha (1707-1739 A.D.) rebuilt another two-storied mansion (Abeywardana, 2004; Jayasuriya, 2016). The Dutch invaders destroyed it but King Kirti Sri Rajasinha (1747-1779 A.D.) renovated the whole complex. The octagonal Pattirippuwa of the present Temple of the Tooth Relic was built by King Sri Vikrama Rajasinha (1798-1815 A.D.), the last king of Kandy (Abeywardana, 2004; Coningham & Lewer, 1999; Jayasuriya, 2016). 


During the British Period
In 1815, the Kandyan Kingdom was annexed by the British through a treaty called the Kandyan Convention in which it is agreed to maintain and protect the Buddhist religion, its rites, ministers and places of worship (Hocart, 1931).

During the Great Rebellion of 1817-1818, the Tooth Relic was secretly removed by the rebel party. However, it was recovered by the British towards the end of the rebellion and the Temple of the Tooth Relic was provided with an armed guard (Hocart, 1931). In 1828, the Tooth Relic was exhibited to the people by order of the then British Governor Edward Barnes (1824-1831 A.D.) and due to objections that arose from the Christian side, the British relinquished the charge of the relic and withdrew from direct interference in the appointment of Buddhist monks and chiefs in 1846 (Coningham & Lewer, 1999; Hocart, 1931).


JVP and LTTE attacks
On 8 February 1989, several armed cadres affiliated with Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP), a revolutionary Marxist organization in Sri Lanka attacked the Temple of the Tooth Relic with the intention of capturing the relic. But their attempt failed. 

The temple was bombed on 25 January 1998 by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), a militant group designated as a terrorist organization by a number of countries including Sri Lanka, India, the USA and the EU which fought to create an independent Tamil state in Northern and Eastern parts of the country, from 1983 to 2009 (Wijesuriya, 2000). According to initial figures, 17 people were killed and 20+ were wounded by the attack (Coningham & Lewer, 1999). Also, the bomb explosion caused severe damage to the temple building and its surrounding monuments including the MuseumRoyal Audience HallRoyal Palace, St. Paul's Church and the shrines of Vishnu, Natha and Pattini (Coningham & Lewer, 1999). The old Vahalkada, Sandakada Pahana, guard stones, and several other parts of the Temple of the Tooth Relic building had been significantly damaged but some paintings belonging to the reign of King Sri Vira Parakrama Narendrasinha (1707-1739 A.D.) were found in an inner plaster layer of the wall exposed due to the explosion (Jayasuriya, 2016). The Tooth Relic remained unharmed and the damages caused by the explosion were fixed by the Sri Lankan Government with the assistance of UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation), ICOMOS (International Council on Monuments and Sites), ICCROM (International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property) and ICOM [(International Council of Museums) Coningham & Lewer, 1999].

The Sacred City of Kandy
The Sacred City of Kandy comprises three zones, viz; the outer city, the inner city and the innermost complex containing the Royal Palace and the Temple of the Tooth Relic (Coningham & Lewer, 1999). Modern development activities, however, have altered the outer city but the inner city still remains in a good state of preservation (Coningham & Lewer, 1999). 

Divided into blocks by cardinal roads, the outer city comprises the houses of nobles and commoners while the inner city consists of shrines dedicated to God Vishnu, Natha, and Pattini (Coningham & Lewer, 1999). The innermost complex, separated by two walls and a moat, comprises the king's palace and the Temple of the Tooth Relic (Coningham & Lewer, 1999).

The Temple of the Tooth Relic
Temple of the Tooth Relic
The Temple of the Tooth Relic stands at the centre of Sri Lanka's last pre-colonial capital (Coningham & Lewer, 1999). The accessway to the temple is fallen through a bridge over the moat which leads to a monumental entrance porch and then to rectangular two-storied buildings via a vaulted corridor beside the octagonal tower known as Pattirippuwa (Coningham & Lewer, 1999). Added during the reign of Sri Vikrama Rajasingha, the Pattirippuwa is said to have been designed by the chief philosopher Devendra as instructed by Dehigama Nilame. It was originally the observation pavilion of the king and used for the Kachcheriya of Kandy during the colonial period. In 1815, it was named the royal library of the Temple of the Tooth Relic. 

Several subsidiary shrines, offices, a Stupa and a drumming hall laid around a courtyard where the 18th-century two-storied pavilion containing the sacred Tooth Relic stands (Coningham & Lewer, 1999). The complex is dominated by a three-storied extension to the east of the shrine built in 1956 and a modern golden roof suspended over the pavilion (Coningham & Lewer, 1999).

The two-storied pavilion houses the Tooth Relic preserved in a golden casket. The upper floor of it is constructed of wooden beams and planks resting primarily on stone pillars and consists of two rooms enclosed by walls made of wattle and daub covered with lime plaster (Wijesuriya, 2000). Of the two rooms, the inner chamber houses the majestic casket of the Tooth Relic (Wijesuriya, 2000). The stone pillars which support the upper floor and the entire superstructure are enclosed by walls painted in traditional motifs (Wijesuriya, 2000).

Associated monuments
The three shrines of God Vishnu, Natha and Pattini, Palle Vahala, Magul Maduwa, Ulpenge, Mahamaluwa, moat, Diyatilaka pavilion and the Nuwara Wewa are the main associated parts of the Temple of the Tooth Relic Premises.

Festivals
Four government-sponsored festivals are held at the Temple of the Tooth Relic annually (Ranathunga et al., 2018). The first of these is the Alut Sahal Mangalya (the new rice ceremony) which is held in January (Ranathunga et al., 2018). Representing fertility, a special portion of rice is offered to the Tooth Relic during this festival. The second festival is the Alut Awurudda (the New Year Festival) which symbolizes the transition from the old to the New Year and is held in April (Ranathunga et al., 2018). The third is considered the main festival of the temple, the Esala Perahera (the Tooth Relic procession). This procession consists of the Dalada Perahera followed by the processions of the four Devalas; Vishnu, Natha, Pattini and Kataragama (Jayasuriya, 2016). It is held in August every year. The fourth festival is known as Karthi and is held on the full moon day of November. This festival is said to have started in 1739 (Ranathunga et al., 2018).

A protected site
The Temple of the Tooth Relic in Kandy town in the Gangawata Koralaya, Grama Niladhari Division in Four Gravets Divisional Secretariat Division is an archaeological protected monument, declared by a government gazette notification published on 23 February 2007.

Temple of the Tooth Relic Kandy
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See also

 
References
1) Abeywardana, H.A.P., 2004. Heritage of Kandurata: Major natural, cultural and historic sites. Colombo: The Central Bank of Sri Lanka.  pp.9-.
2) Coningham, R. and Lewer, N., 1999. Paradise Lost: the bombing of the Temple of the Tooth—a UNESCO World Heritage site in Sri Lanka. Antiquity, 73(282), pp.857-866.
3) Hocart, A.M. ed., 1931. Memoirs of the Archaeological Survey of Ceylon IV: The Temple of the Tooth in Kandy. Messrs. Luzac & Co. pp.1-4.
4) Jayasuriya, E., 2016. A guide to the Cultural Triangle of Sri Lanka. Central Cultural Fund. ISBN: 978-955-613-312-7. pp.112-116.
5) Medhananda, Ven. Ellawala, 2003. Pacheena passa - Uttara passa: Negenahira palata ha uturu palate Sinhala bauddha urumaya (In Sinhala). Dayawansa Jayakody & Company. Colombo. ISBN: 978-955-686-112-9. pp.319-322.
6) 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.178.
7) Pieris, P.E., 1920. Ceylon and the Portuguese, 1505-1658. American Mission Ceylon Press. Telippalai. pp.76, 86, 142.
8) Ranathunga, G.M., Karunarathne, P.V.M. and De Silva, S.S.V., 2018. Headdress: Faith and practice in everyday life in Buddhism (The case of the temple of the tooth Buddhist religious activities and the cultural headdress of Sri Lanka). Journal of Advanced Research in Social Sciences and Humanities, 3(5), pp.172-178.
9) Seneviratna, A., 1975. Musical rituals of Dalada Maligawa: pertaining to the temple of the sacred tooth. Sangeet Natak. pp.21-42.
10) Seneviratna, A. and Polk, B., 1992. Buddhist monastic architecture in Sri Lanka: the woodland shrines. Abhinav Publications. p.133.
11) The Gazette of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. No: 1486. 23 February 2007. p.125.
12) The National Atlas of Sri Lanka, 2007. (2nd ed.) Survey Department of Sri Lanka. ISBN: 955-9059-04-1. pp.104-105. 
13) Wickremasinghe, D. M. D. Z., 1928. Epigraphia Zeylanica: Being lithic and other inscriptions of Ceylon (Vol, II). Published for the government of Ceylon by Humphrey Milford. pp.242-255.
14) Wijesuriya, G., 2000. Conserving the Temple of the Tooth Relic, Sri Lanka. Public Archaeology, 1(2), pp.99-108.

Location Map

This page was last updated on 2 July 2022

Wednesday, 29 June 2022

Danagirigala Raja Maha Viharaya

Danagirigala Viharaya
Danagirigala Viharaya (Photo credit: Sameera Liyanage, Google Street View)

Danagirigala/Danakirigala Raja Maha Viharaya (Sinhala: දනගිරිගල රජ මහා විහාරය) is a Buddhist temple in Aranayaka in Kegalle District, Sri Lanka. It is situated on a hill to the north of the famous Batalegala Rock.

History
According to local belief, Danagigigala was the ancient Vadunnagala, the residence of the mythical Naga king Chulodara [(read the story of Nagadeepa Viharaya) Abeyawardana, 2002]. The early-Brahmi inscription that has been engraved below the drip-ledge of the cave temple indicates that Danagirigala has a history running back to the pre-Christian era (Paranavitana, 1970).

Danagirigala cave inscription
Period: 2nd century B.C.                  Script: Early Brahmi                  Language: Old Sinhala
Transcript: Parumaka Vesha puta parumaka Veshaha lene
Translation: The cave of the chief Vessa, son of the chief Vessa.
Citation: Paranavitana, 1970. p.61.

The hill where the Danagirigala temple is located was known as Vaddhamanakapabbata in ancient times and Egodapata, as is revealed by the copper plate grant of King Kirti Sri Rajasinha [(1747-1781 A.D.) Chutiwongs et al., 1990]. This copper plate dated 1747 and another of his successor, King Sri Rajadhi Rajasinha (1781-1798 A.D.), dated 1787 provide some historical details relating to the site (Chutiwongs et al., 1990). According to the first copper plate, the monastery at Danagirigala is dating from the time of King Valagamba [(103, 89-77 B.C.) Chutiwongs et al., 1990]. The second copper plate mainly reveals the information on the images and paintings executed in the cave temple by Sri Rajadhi Rajasinha (Chutiwongs et al., 1990).

Also, the name of this temple is mentioned in Nampota, an ancient Sinhalese text which is considered to have been compiled after the 14th century A.D.

The cave temple
The upper terrace of the temple mainly consists of a Len Viharaya (cave temple) and a parapet of a Bodhi tree. Of the two, the cave temple has been built in a natural cavern in the cliff close to the summit of the rock. Although the cave had been used by the Buddhist monks since the pre-Christian era, it was excavated further during the reign of Sri Rajadhi Rajasinha as mentioned in the royal grant (Chutiwongs et al., 1990).

The murals and sculptures of the cave temple display genuine and unique features of the Kandyan art tradition of the Kandyan Period (Abeyawardana, 2002). Five Buddha images (recumbent, seated and standing), statues of deities (Vishnu and Saman) and a small Stupa are found inside the cave temple. The murals are thought to be the products of the same schools that worked at Degaldoruwa, Ridi Viharaya and Dambulla (Chutiwongs et al., 1990). The figure of Levke Disawa, the general of Kirti Sri Rajasinha with a coconut between his hands is found on the eastern side of the doorway (Chutiwongs et al., 1990).

A protected site
The ancient Danagirigala Purana Vihara situated in the Divisional Secretary’s Division of Mawanella is an archaeological protected site, declared by a government gazette notification published on 26 August 1960.

Danagirigala Viharaya
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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. pp.74-75.
2) Chutiwongs, N.; Prematilleke, L.; Silva, R., 1990. Sri Lanka Bithu Sithuwam: Danagirigala (Paintings of Sri Lanka: Danagirigala). Archaeological Survey of Sri Lanka: Centenary publication. Central Cultural Fund. pp.35-45.
3) Paranavitana, S., 1970. Inscriptions of Ceylon: Volume I: Early Brahmi Inscriptions. Department of Archaeology Ceylon. p.61.
4) The government Gazette notification, no: 12186. 26 August 1960. 

Location Map
This page was last updated on 2 July 2022

Tuesday, 28 June 2022

Galapatha Raja Maha Viharaya

Galapatha Viharaya
Galapatha Viharaya (Photo credit: Kanishka Dilshan, Google Street View)

Galapatha Raja Maha Viharaya (Sinhala: ගලපාත රජ මහා විහාරය) is a Buddhist temple situated in Kahagalla village near Bentota Ganga river in Galle District, Sri Lanka.

History
Tooth relic of Arhat Maha Kassapa Thera
According to local tradition, the Stupa at Galapatha Viharaya preserves a tooth of Arhat Maha Kassapa Thera, one of the principal disciples of Gautama Buddha (Ayrton, 1920; Paranavitana, 1934). It is mentioned in a Kavya (poem) named Dharmawattaja Jataka that the tooth relic of Arhat Maha Kassapa Thera had reached Sri Lanka from India and was in Anuradhapura until it was brought to Galapatha Viharaya by a certain Arhat (Ayrton, 1920). King Dutugemunu (161-137 B.C.), after hearing about this tooth-relic, sent his brother Saddhatissa (137-119 B.C.) to erect a Stupa for it (Ayrton, 1920). The present Stupa at the site is believed to be the one built by Saddhatissa (Ayrton, 1920). It is also said that King Parakramabahu I (1153-1186 A.D.) gave offerings to the temple and King Nissankamalla (1187-1196 A.D.) granted a coconut garden reaching from Bentota to Kalu Ganga river to it (Ayrton, 1920).

The chronicle Mahavamsa has mentioned the Galapatha temple by the name Bhimatittha Viharaya of Pancayojana or Pasyodun District (Ayrton, 1920; Nicholas, 1963). It says that King Parakramabahu II (1236-1270 A.D.) celebrated a festival of three days at this temple in honour of the tooth relic of the Arhat Maha Kassapa Thera (Ayrton, 1920; Muller, 1883; Nicholas, 1963; Paranavitana, 1934). Later the king sent his general Devapathiraja to execute some repairs to the temple (Ayrton, 1920). The chronicle Pujavaliya also provides similar information regarding the offerings made to the tooth relic at Galapatha Viharaya (Ayrton, 1920; Paranavitana, 1934).

Destruction & the establishment of the modern temple
As happened to the other Buddhist shrines on the western seaboard, the Galapatha temple is also believed to have been vandalized by the Portuguese who had the control of several coastal areas of the island during the period between 1597-1658 (Paranavitana, 1934; Ranchagoda, 2015). The present temple at the site was established in the 19th century A.D. (Paranavitana, 1934).

Galapatha Viharaya rock inscription
This inscription has been engraved on the rock by the side of the flight of steps leading to the monastic buildings at the temple. It consists of 28 lines of writing and covers an area measuring 11 ft. 9 in. by 5 ft. (Paranavitana, 1934). According to the view of S. Ranawella, the script and the language of this record is Sinhala of the 13th century (Ranawella, 2014).

The inscription is dated in the 13th regnal year of a king styled Sirisangabo Parakramabahu Cakravarti (Paranavitana, 1934; Ranawella, 2014). H.C.P. Bell and S. Ranawella identified this king as Parakramabahu II (1236-1270 A.D.) of Dambadeniya while S. Paranavitana tended to ascribe this record to the reign of King Parakramabahu I (1153-1186 A.D.) of Polonnaruwa (Paranavitana, 1934; Ranawella, 2014; Ranchagoda, 2015).

As the inscription itself testifies, Galapatha Viharaya is a foundation of the 12th or 13th century (Paranavitana, 1934). It states that a dignitary named Mindal (Mahendra) who held the office of Demala-adhikara and was administering the Pasyodun District founded the Galapatha Viharaya with the royal assent and with the co-operation of his mother, his nephews Kodanavan of Miyangunubim (Mahiyangana) and Vijayanavan of Degalaturubim (Degaldoruwa) and his kinsman Katuvitna Satumba or Devu (Paranavitana, 1934). It also gives a long list of lands and serfs granted to the temple by its founders and ends with the signatures of the donors and of the witnesses to the document (Paranavitana, 1934).

A protected site
The ancient Buddha shrine and Dagoba within the precincts of Galapatha Raja Maha Vihara situated in Kahagalla village in the Bentota Divisional Secretary Division are archaeological protected monuments, declared by a government gazette notification published on 6 June 2008. 

Galapatha Viharaya
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References
1) Ayrton, E.R., 1920. Antiquities in the Southern Province. The Ceylon Antiquary and Literary Register. Vol: VI. pp.40-43.
2) Muller, E., 1883. Ancient Inscriptions in Ceylon. London. p.71.
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.73.
4) Paranavitana, S., 1934. Galapata Vihara Rock-Inscription. Epigraphia Zeylanica: Being Lithic and Other Inscriptions of Ceylon: Vol. IV. The Archeological Department. pp.196-211.
5) Ranawella, S., 2014. Archaeological Survey of Ceylon: Inscriptions of Ceylon: Vol. VII. Department of Archaeology. ISBN: 978-955-9159-62-9. pp.8-13.
6) Ranchagoda, T. O., 2015. Pauranika Sthana Ha Smaraka: Galla Distrikkaya (In Sinhala). Archaeological Department of Sri Lanka. ISBN:955-9159-53-4. pp.6-9.
7) The Gazette of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. No: 1553. 6 June 2008. p.524.

Location Map
This page was last updated on 30 June 2022

Monday, 27 June 2022

Mahagal Wewa

Mahagal Wewa (Sinhala: මහගල් වැව) is a reservoir situated in Hambantota District, Sri Lanka. The ancient Padikemgala Raja Maha Viharaya lies on the border of this reservoir.

History
The history of this reservoir dates back to the Anuradhapura Period. It is said to have been constructed by Mahasen, a regional king of Ruhuna (Abeyawardana, 2004). The reservoir was renovated during the 1950s-1960s period (Abeyawardana, 2004; Arumugam, 1969).

The reservoir
The reservoir has been built by damming the waters of the Maha Ara stream (Abeyawardana, 2004; Arumugam, 1969). The bund of it is about 3,900 ft. long and the water is extending in an area of about 240 acres at its full supply level (Arumugam, 1969). It has one spill and one sluice (Arumugam, 1969). 

References
1) Abeyawardana, H.A.P., 2004. Heritage of Ruhuna: Major natural, cultural and historic sites. Colombo: The Central Bank of Sri Lanka. ISBN: 955-575-073-4. p.109.
2) Arumugam, S., 1969. Water resources of Ceylon: its utilisation and development. Water Resources Board. p.120.

Location Map
This page was last updated on 27 June 2022

Sunday, 26 June 2022

Budulena Raja Maha Viharaya

Budulena Raja Maha Viharaya (Sinhala: බුදුලෙන රජ මහා විහාරය) is a Buddhist temple situated in Ratnapura District, Sri Lanka.

Known as Bujaslena in ancient times, the cave shrine of the temples is attributed to King Rajadhi Rajasingha [(1781-1798 A.D.) Abeyawardana, 2002]. The reclining Buddha statue in the shrine room is 9.44 m (31 ft.) in length and the Buddha statue to the right of the main image has features similar to those found in the sculptures at Dambulla Cave Temple (Abeyawardana, 2002). The statues of deities are thought to be the works of the Kotte and Sitawaka periods (Abeyawardana, 2002).

As per local belief, the statues in the shrine room have been made using a mixture of paddy husk, coir yarn, Pamba creepers and clay (Abeyawardana, 2002).

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. pp.22-23.

Location Map
This page was last updated on 26 June 2022
For a complete tourist map follow this link: Lankapradeepa Tourist Map

Saturday, 25 June 2022

Waulpane Cave

Waulpane Cave
Waulpane Cave (Photo credit: Ravindu Samarasinghe, Google Street View)

Waulpane Cave (Sinhala: වවුල්පනේ හුණුගල් ගුහාව) is a limestone cavern in the Kumburugamuwa Grama Niladhari Division in Ratnapura District, Sri Lanka. It is located about 278 m above sea level at the eastern slopes of Bulutota Rakwana Mountain Range (Thamodi & Kumara, 2020). The cave is surrounded by a tropical rainforest extending about 30 acres (Thamodi & Kumara, 2020).

Waulpane Cave
The cave was first discovered by a surveyor who engaged in a topographical survey in 1938 (Abeyawardana, 2002). It is about 50,000 cu. m in size and 425 m in length (Abeyawardana, 2002; Seneviratne et al., 2009). The cave is called Waulpane or the "cave of bats" probably due to the enormous number of bats that inhabit the cavern (Abeyawardana, 2002; Thamodi & Kumara, 2020). It is estimated that approximately 800,000-1,000,000 bats belonging to 7 species live in the cave (Abeyawardana, 2002; Thamodi & Kumara, 2020). 

A water stream flows through the cave and the waterfall called Waulpane Ella, which is said to be the second-longest brackish internal waterfall in Asia, is found in the centre of the cavern (Ponnimbaduge-Perera et al., 2019; Thamodi & Kumara, 2020). This fall is made by a stream which gushes out from the hillside by the cave and falls through a sinkhole in the limestone layer-roof of the cave (Thamodi & Kumara, 2020). It is about 150 feet (45 m) in height and cascades down onto a pillar which has acquired a roundness and smoothness on top as a result of centuries of falling water (Thamodi & Kumara, 2020).

Waulpane Cave
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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. pp.30-31.
2) Ponnimbaduge-Perera, P.D., Yapa, W.B., Dangalle, C.D. and Manage, P.M., 2019, November. Bat Guano; A Resource or a Contaminant?. In Proceedings of International Forestry and Environment Symposium.
3) Seneviratne, S.S., Fernando, H.C. and Udagama-Randeniya, P.V., 2009. Host specificity in bat ectoparasites: a natural experiment. International journal for parasitology, 39(9), pp.995-1002.
4) Thamodi, A.A.R.; Kumara, B.A.S., 2020. A Geomorphological study on the diversity of micro karst landforms of a limestone cave (with special reference to Waulpane cave in Ratnapura District. International Journal of Recent Scientific ResearchVol. 11, Issue, 06 (B), pp. 38831-38842.

Location Map
This page was last updated on 25 June 2022
For a complete tourist map follow this link: Lankapradeepa Tourist Map

Friday, 24 June 2022

Hanguranketha Vishnu Devalaya

Hanguranketha Vishnu Devalaya
Hanguranketha Vishnu Devalaya & old Jackfruit tree (Photo credit: Anuradha Piyadasa, Google Street View)

Hanguranketha Vishnu Devalaya (Sinhala: හඟුරන්කෙත විෂ්ණු දේවාලය) is a Devalaya Shrine situated opposite the Potgul Viharaya in Hanguranketha in Nuwara Eliya District, Sri Lanka. It has been dedicated to God Vishnu, one of the deities of the Sri Lankan Buddhist pantheon.

History
Although the establishment date of this edifice is not known, there is evidence to prove that this Devalaya existed during the reign of King Rajasingha II [(1635-1687 A.D.) Abeywardana, 2004; Wijesinghe, 2015]. It later received the patronage of several kings of the Kandyan Kingdom including Vimaladharmasuriya II (1687-1707 A.D.) and Kirti Sri Rajasingha [(1747-1782 A.D.) Abeywardana, 2004; Wijesinghe, 2015]. During the 1818 Uva–Wellassa uprising period, the shrine was used as a fort by the British troops to fight against the Sinhala forces (Abeywardana, 2004; Wijesinghe, 2015). The Devalaya had sustained damages during the encounter (Abeywardana, 2004).

Old Jackfruit Tree
An old archaeological-protected jackfruit tree is found close to the Devalaya building. The fruit of this tree is said to have been exclusively used for the consumption of the royalty during the reign of King Rajasinha II (Abeywardana, 2004). 

Alutnuwara Devata Bandara Devalaya
This shrine is situated behind the Vishnu Devalaya building. A pot like sculpture containing five figures of females named Panchanari Ghata is found at the left side of the entrance of this shrine (Abeywardana, 2004).

A protected site
The Vishnu Devalaya, Aluthnuwara Devata Bandara Devalaya, image house, kitchen, rampart and the old jackfruit tree at Hanguranketha Vishnu Devalaya premises in the Divisional Secretary’s Division of Hanguranketha are archaeological protected monuments, declared by a government gazette notification published on 1 November 1996.

See also

References
1) Abeywardana, H.A.P., 2004. Heritage of Kandurata: Major natural, cultural and historic sites. Colombo: The Central Bank of Sri Lanka.  pp.248-249,250.
2) The Gazette of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, no: 948. 1 November 1996.
3) Wijesinghe, T.K., 2015. Pauranika Sthana Saha Smaraka: Nuwara Eliya Distrikkaya (In Sinhala). Department of Archaeology (Sri Lanka). ISBN: 955-9159-36-4. pp.35-36.

Location Map
This page was last updated on 2 July 2022

Thursday, 23 June 2022

Hanguranketha Pothgul Maliga Viharaya

Hanguranketha Pothgul Maliga Viharaya
Hanguranketha Pothgul Maliga Viharaya (Photo credit: DaRcAssan Zirekile, Google Street View)

Hanguranketha Pothgul Maliga Viharaya (Sinhala: හඟුරන්කෙත පොත්ගුල් මාලිගා විහාරය) is a Buddhist temple situated in Hanguranketha town in Nuwara Eliya District, Sri Lanka.

History
Hanguranketha was known in ancient times as Diyatilakapura or Digiliya Nuwara (Abeywardana, 2004). King Senarath (1604-1635 A.D.), as recorded in Rajavaliya, established this town and several later kings including Rajasingha II (1635-1687 A.D.), Sri Vira Parakrama Narendrasinha (1707-1709 A.D) and Sri Vijaya Rajasinha (1739-1747 A.D.) resided in Hanguranketha from time to time (Abeywardana, 2004).

The Pothgul Viharaya at Hanguranketha was established on the present site in about 1830 by a Buddhist monk named Poholiyadda Thera who bought the temple land from its owner H. J. Soysa (Wijesinghe, 2015). Poholiyadda Thera started the construction of the temple using some of the stone remains of the Hanguranketha Royal Palace building that had been destroyed decades ago by the hands of invading armies, but he couldn't finish the works of the temple (Abeywardana, 2004; Wijesinghe, 2015).

The monk Doratiyawe Atthidassi Thera completed the temple by 1880 (Abeywardana, 2004). The relics of the Buddha preserved in a golden casket, received by the Thera from his sister who lived in Bulankulama Walawwa at Anuradhapura, and a gem received from Ratnapura and some Buddhist scriptures written on gold and silver plates are said to have been enshrined in the monuments of this temple (Abeywardana, 2004; Wijesinghe, 2015).

It is believed that this temple has been built on the ground where the ancient Devram Vehera of the Polonnaruwa Period was located. The evidence of the Stupa of this temple has been found in the locality where the present Government Dispensary is situated. The 13th century Sinhala inscription of Queen Lilavati from Rekitipe and a Tamil inscription have been preserved in the temple premises today (Wijesinghe, 2015).

Rekitipe Fragmentary Pillar Inscription
A stone containing a record of the reign of Queen Lilavati (1197-1200, 1209-1210, 1211-1212 A.D.) was discovered at Rekitipe in Diyatilaka Korale (Ranawella, 2007). The sun and the moon emblems carved above and the abrupt ending of the inscription indicate that the stone is only the top fragment of a pillar about 13.5 inches square (Ranawella, 2007). Although the subject matter of the record is unclear, the remaining part reveals a grant of land or some other benefaction in the reign of Lilavati, the Queen-dowager of King Parakramabahu I [(1153-1186 A.D.) Ranawella, 2007].

The temple
The Sangawasa building (dwelling house), the stone Vahalkada, the image house, the Pothgula (library) and the house of Siri Pathula are considered the main architectural monuments of the temple. The Stupa of the temple is small and it is accommodated in a separate room in the image house. It has been painted with decorative motifs such as Lotuses designs, Pala-peti, Gal bindu and Liya-vel of the Kandyan Period. Figures of the four guardian deities have been painted over the middle part of the four walls of the Stupa room. The Suvisi-vivaranaya (Buddha to be receiving the blessing from 24 previous Buddhas) and a scene of the ocean have been depicted on the upper and lower parts of these walls respectively.

A protected site
The ancient buildings and the Sangawasa belonging to Hanguranketha Pothgul Maliga Vihara situated in Udamaluwa Grama Niladhari Division in the Hanguranketha Divisional Secretary’s Division are archaeological protected monuments, declared by two government gazette notifications published on 1 November 1996 and 21 October 2010.

References

References
1) Abeywardana, H.A.P., 2004. Heritage of Kandurata: Major natural, cultural and historic sites. Colombo: The Central Bank of Sri Lanka.  pp.245-246.
2) Ranawella, S., 2007. Inscription of Ceylon. Volume VI. Department of Archaeology. ISBN: 978-955-91-59-61-2. p.215.
3) The Gazette of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, no: 948. 1 November 1996.
4) The Gazette of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, no: 1677. 21 October 2010. p.1750.
5) Wijesinghe, T.K., 2015. Pauranika Sthana Saha Smaraka: Nuwara Eliya Distrikkaya (In Sinhala). Department of Archaeology (Sri Lanka). ISBN: 955-9159-36-4. pp.41-44.

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Wednesday, 22 June 2022

Hanguranketha Pattini Devalaya

Hanguranketha Pattini Devalaya
Hanguranketha Pattini Devalaya (Photo credit: Google Street View)

Hanguranketha Pattini Devalaya (Sinhala: හඟුරන්කෙත පත්තිනි දේවාලය) is a Devalaya Shrine situated about 100 m behind the Potgul Viharaya in Hanguranketha in Nuwara Eliya District, Sri Lanka. It has been dedicated to Goddess Pattini, the patron goddess of fertility and health. The anklet of this deity is said to have enshrined at this shrine (Abeywardana, 2004).

History
Although the establishment date of this edifice is not known, there is evidence to prove that this Devalaya existed during the reign of King Rajasingha II (1635-1687 A.D.). However, according to some, this shrine was erected during the reign of King Sri Vira Parakrama Narendrasinha [(1707-1739 A.D.) Abeywardana, 2004]. Later King Kirti Sri Rajasingha (1747-1782 A.D.) renovated the shrine. During the 1818 Uva–Wellassa uprising period, the shrine was minorly damaged by the British troops.

A protected site
The Devalaya building, Vahalkada, kitchen and the rampart of Pattini Devalaya at Hanguranketha in the Divisional Secretary’s Division of Hanguranketha are archaeological protected monuments, declared by a government gazette notification published on 1 November 1996.

See also

References
1) Abeywardana, H.A.P., 2004. Heritage of Kandurata: Major natural, cultural and historic sites. Colombo: The Central Bank of Sri Lanka.  pp.250-251.
2) The Gazette of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, no: 948. 1 November 1996.

Location Map
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Tuesday, 21 June 2022

Hanguranketha Palace

Hanguranketha Palace (Sinhala: හඟුරන්කෙත රජ මාලිගාව) is a royal palace located in the present Hanguranketha town in Nuwara Eliya District, Sri Lanka.

History
Hanguranketha which is believed to have evolved from the name Sangaruwan-ketha (the field of Sangha) was known in ancient times as Diyatilakapura or Digiliya Nuwara (Abeywardana, 2004). The name Digiliya is mentioned in the Gadaladeniya Rock Inscription of Buvanekabahu IV (1341-1351 A.D.) and it has been identified with the present Hanguranketha town (Abeywardana, 2004). King Senarath (1604-1635 A.D.), as recorded in Rajavaliya, established this town and several later kings including Rajasingha II (1635-1687 A.D.), Sri Vira Parakrama Narendrasinha (1707-1709 A.D) and Sri Vijaya Rajasinha (1739-1747 A.D.) resided in Hanguranketha from time to time (Abeywardana, 2004).

The royal residence at Hanguranketha was first built by King Senarath and King Rajasinha II upgraded it to a palace after having fled the capital city of Kandy in the face of a court rebellion (Abeywardana, 2004; Amarasinghe, 1996; Wijesinghe, 2015) This palace has been described in detail in the book titled "A Historical Relation of the Island Ceylon" by Robert Knox (1641-1720 A.D.), an English sea captain who lived in Sri Lanka for 19 years as a captive of Rajasinghe II (Abeywardana, 2004; Knox, 1681; Wijesinghe, 2015).

Destruction
The paddy field presently known as Vadana-paya is believed to be the site where the palace once stood (Abeywardana, 2004; Wijesinghe, 2015). As is revealed in ancient resources, the palace building had been destroyed several times by the hands of invading armies and the final destruction happened on 15 March 1803 by the British army commanded by Colonel Bailey (Abeywardana, 2004; Wijesinghe, 2015). 

Some of the remains of this ancient royal palace building have been used to construct the present Pothgul Viharaya at Hanguranketha. In 2020, the Department of Archaeology discovered the foundation of an ancient palace building of the Kandyan Period through an excavation in Pallemaluwa near the Hanguranketha Visnu Devalaya.

A protected site
The inner land of the palace and the tank situated in Yatihanguranketha in the Divisional Secretary’s Division of Hanguranketha are archaeological protected monuments, declared by a government gazette notification published on 1 November 1996.

References

References
1) Abeywardana, H.A.P., 2004. Heritage of Kandurata: Major natural, cultural and historic sites. Colombo: The Central Bank of Sri Lanka.  pp.244-245.
2) Amarasinghe, M., 1996. Ancient Royal Palaces in Sri Lanka. A dissertation submitted to the Postgraduate Institute of Archaeology, University of Kelaniya, Sri Lanka for the Master of Philosophy Examination. pp.iii-x.
3) Knox, R., 1681. An Historical Relation of the Island Ceylon in the East Indies (1681). Richard Chiswell, London. pp.34-35.
4) The Gazette of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, no: 948. 1 November 1996.
5) Wijesinghe, T.K., 2015. Pauranika Sthana Saha Smaraka: Nuwara Eliya Distrikkaya (In Sinhala). Department of Archaeology (Sri Lanka). ISBN: 955-9159-36-4. pp.29-30.

Location Map (approximate)
This page was last updated on 2 July 2022

Monday, 20 June 2022

Shanthipura View Point

Shanthipura View Point
Shanthipura View Point (Sinhala: ශාන්තිපුර නැරඹුම් ස්ථානය) is located in Kalapura near the Shanthipura Village in Nuwara Eliya District, Sri Lanka. Situated 1,692 m above sea level, Shanthipura Colony is considered the village on the highest elevation in the country (Abeywardana, 2004).

The viewpoint is maintained through a government body. A panoramic view of Sri Lanka's highest mountains such as PidurutalagalaSri Pada, Kikiliyamana, and a part of the Nuwara Eliya town including the Lake Gregory can be seen from this viewpoint.

Shanthipura View Point
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References

References
1) Abeywardana, H.A.P., 2004. Heritage of Kandurata: Major natural, cultural and historic sites. Colombo: The Central Bank of Sri Lanka.  pp.220-221.

Location Map
This page was last updated on 20 June 2022
For a complete tourist map follow this link: Lankapradeepa Tourist Map

Sunday, 19 June 2022

Shanthipura Colony

Shanthipura Colony
Shanthipura Colony (Sinhala: ශාන්තිපුර ජනපදය) is a settlement in the Kikiliyamana range of mountains in Nuwara Eliya District, Sri Lanka. Situated 1,692 m above sea level, this is considered the village on the highest elevation in the country (Abeywardana, 2004).

The colony was established in 1960 by T. Willium Fernando, a Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) Parliamentarian representing Nuwara Eliya (Abeywardana, 2004). Ranasinha Premadasa, the then Prime Minister renamed it the  Mudungala in 1980 after the infrastructure of the locality was improved (Abeywardana, 2004).

The highest water tank in the country is found on the top of this hill at the end of Shanthipura colony. Fed by the water springs originating from the Kikiliyamana mountains, the waters of this tank are used for the cultivation purposes of the settlement.

Shanthipura
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References

References
1) Abeywardana, H.A.P., 2004. Heritage of Kandurata: Major natural, cultural and historic sites. Colombo: The Central Bank of Sri Lanka.  pp.220-221.

Location Map
This page was last updated on 20 June 2022
For a complete tourist map follow this link: Lankapradeepa Tourist Map

Saturday, 18 June 2022

Wattaramtenna Purvarama Viharaya

Not to be confused with Wattarama Sri Maliyadeva Viharaya

Wattaramtenna Sri Purvarama Viharaya (Sinhala: වට්ටාරම්තැන්න පූර්වාරාම විහාරය) is a Buddhist temple situated in Mathurata in Nuwara Eliya District, Sri Lanka. 

History
The image house of Wattaramtenna temple preserves a collection of murals of the Kandyan art tradition of the Kandyan Period. The slab inscription that is engraved on the rock behind the Makara Thorana (dragon arch) and the seated Buddha statue in the image house contains 1765 of the Saka Era [(1843 A.D.) Gamage, 2020]. A sketch of a human figure wearing a unique dress and ornaments is found beside the inscription.

Period: 19th century A.D.                 Script: Modern Sinhala                 Language: Modern Sinhala
Transcript: Sujatassa Shakabdam Matusatyam Evajan
Translation: Saka year 1765
Notes: This inscription has been written following the ancient Katapaya system
References: Gamage, 2020.

A protected site
The ancient shrine and Chaitya at the premises of Wattaranthenne Purana Viharaya, Padiyapelella, belonging to the Ampitigoda village situated in Grama Niladhari Division Ampitigoda in the Divisional Secetary’s Division Hanguranketha are archaeological protected monuments, declared by a government gazette notification published on 12 June 2015.

References
1) Gamage, D.P., 2020. Epigraphical Notes (Nos. 22-23). Department of Archaeology. ISBN: 978-955-7457-30-7. pp.3-6.
2) The Gazette of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, no: 1919. 12 June 2015. p.393.

Location Map
This page was last updated on 2 July 2022