Mathula Alu Lena Viharaya

Mathula Alu Lena Viharaya (Sinhala: මාතුල අළු ලෙන විහාරය) is a Buddhist temple situated in Attanagoda Village in Ratnapura District, Sri Lanka.

Prehistoric site
Archaeological excavations carried out on the temple premises have yielded stone implements used by man over 15,000 years ago (Abeyawardana, 2002).

The Buddhist monastery
As is evidenced by the Early Brahmi Inscription engraved just below the drip-ledge of the cave of this temple, this site has been used as an abode of Buddhist monks since the pre-Christian era.

Period: 3rd Century B.C.-1st century A.D.                      Script: Early Brahmi                      Language: Old Sinhala
Transcript: (1) Parumaka Ijhu putha parumaka Agiya lene (2) shagasha
Translation: (1) The cave of Chief Aggi, son of Chief Ijhu (2) (is given) to Sangha.
Citation: Paranavitana, 1970. p.61.
The cave measures 55 ft. by 25 ft. and it presently houses several sculptures and paintings of the Kandyan Period (Abeyawardana, 2002). Although the locals believe that the writing down of Tripitaka, the sacred scriptures of Buddhism took place at this temple in the 1 century B.C., no evidence has yet been found to prove that belief (Abeyawardana, 2002).

See also
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.52.
2) Paranavitana, S., 1970. Inscriptions of Ceylon: Volume I: Early Brahmi Inscriptions. Department of Archaeology Ceylon. p.61.
Location Map

This page was last updated on 7 July 2022

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