Bollegama Raja Maha Viharaya

Bollegama Raja Maha Viharaya
Bollegama Raja Maha Viharaya (Sinhala: බොල්ලෑගම රජමහා විහාරය) is a Buddhist temple situated in Maha Oya town in Ampara District, Sri Lanka (Withanachchi, 2013).

Folklore attributes the establishment of the Stupa of this temple to King Saddhatissa (137-119 B.C.) of Anuradhapura (Medhananda, 2003). However, the site was later abandoned and neglected mainly due to foreign invasions that occurred in successive periods. Hence, the temple remained hidden within the wild for centuries until the area was cleared to lay the Peradeniya-Batticaloa road during the British Period (1815-1948). In about 1911, villagers re-discovered the ruined temple site (Medhananda, 2003).

In 1916, a monk named Aralupitiye Sri Sobitha restored the dilapidated Stupa of the temple and re-erected it to a height of 21 Riyan (Medhananda, 2003). After that, one of his students, Kekirihene Seelawamsa Thera restored and enlarged it again to a height of 31 Riyan (Medhananda, 2003).
The site
As a result of the construction of new buildings and structures, the ancient ruins of this place have been destroyed. Presently, an image house, a preaching hall and a Sanghavasa (monks' dwellings) have been built at the site but some of them seem to have been built on the remains of old structures. Ancient monuments such as Muragal (guard stones), Siri Pathul Gal and Sandakada Pahana are still found scattered across the temple premises.

1) Medhananda, E., 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.260-263.
2) Withanachchi, C. R., 2013. Pauranika Sthana Saha Smaraka: Ampara Distrikkaya (In Sinhala). Department of Archaeology (Sri Lanka). ISBN: 955-9159-44-5. p.58.

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This page was last updated on 5 July 2023

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