Billewa Barathanaga Len Viharaya

Billewa Barathanaga Len Viharaya
Billewa Barathanaga Len Viharaya (Sinhala: බිල්ලෑව බරතනාග ලෙන් විහාරය) is a Buddhist cave temple complex situated in Billewa near Thanthirimale Raja Maha Viharaya in Anuradhapura District, Sri Lanka.

The Early Brahmi Inscriptions discovered on the caves of the Billewa reveal that this site was a Buddhist monastery of the Anuradhapura Period since the pre-Christian era (Paranavitana, 1970). Three early Brahmi inscriptions and seven later Brahmi inscriptions discovered from this site have been recorded by Senarath Paranavitana in his book "Inscriptions of Ceylon: Volume I" published in 1970 (Paranavitana, 1970).

Billevegala cave inscription of Naga
Period: 1st century A.D.                Script: Later Brahmi                Language: Old Sinhala
Transcript: (1) Sidha Vihara-mavita pariha-cata-govaka-Sivaha lene (2) ca[tu-disika-sa]gaya niyate Naka-rajaha rajahi mavite
Translation: Hail! The cave of Siva, who caused (this) monastery to be built and who is the guardian of the umbrella of the Assembly, has been dedicated to the Sangha of the four directions. (The monastery) has been built during the reign of King Naga.
References: Paranavitana, 1970. p.88.

A protected site
Pre-historic paintings and all caves with Brahmi letters and other archaeological features in the Billewa Barathanaga Len Senasana premises situated in the Grama Niladhari Wasama No. 368, Nelumvi Galviharawewa in the Mahavillachchiya  Divisional Secretary’s Division, are archaeological protected monuments, declared by a government notification published on 30 December 2011.

See also


1) Paranavitana, S., 1970. Inscriptions of Ceylon: Volume I: Early Brahmi Inscriptions. Department of Archaeology Ceylon. pp.8,88.
2) The Gazette of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. No: 1739. 30 December 2011. p.1094.

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This page was last updated on 25 June 2023

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