Medagoda Devagiri Viharaya

Medagoda Devagiri Viharaya (Sinhala: මැදගොඩ දේවගිරි විහාරය) is a Buddhist temple situated in Kamburugamuwa in Matara District, Sri Lanka. The Siri Vajiragnana Pirivena established at the temple premises serves as an educational institute for both Buddhist monks and laymen. Several scholarly monks such as Pelene Siri Vajiragnana, Madihe Sumitta and Veragampita Siri Revatha are hailed from this temple.

As is evidenced by several Sannasas, this temple was established in 1840 during the British colonial era (Abeyawardana, 2004; Wikramaratne, 2015). Devagiri, the name of the temple is believed to have evolved from a god (Deva in Sinhala) who lived around the rock (Giri in Sinhala) at this site (Abeyawardana, 2004). It is said that the present Stupa built on this rock had originally housed a Devalaya shrine for the gods (Abeyawardana, 2004; Ranaweera, 2015). Another folklore reveals that Devagiri evolved from Divigalahena which came into use because a leopard (Diviya in Sinhala) roamed around this place (Wikramaratne, 2015).

A blue gem which had been donated to Ketagoda Sri Rathanajothi Thera by King Sri Rajadhi Rajasinha (1781-1798 A.D.) of Kandy is said to have been fixed on the tip of the Stupa of this temple for some time (Ranaweera, 2015). The Stupa, rampart wall, monks' dwelling, preaching hall and the well are considered the old monuments at this site (Wikramaratne, 2015).

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.85.
2) Ranaweera, D. D., 2015. Matara Urumaya (in Sinhala). ISBN: 978-955-30-6285-7. S. Godage & Bros. pp.137-139.
4) Wikramaratne, I., 2015. Pauranika Sthana Saha Smaraka: Matara Distrikkaya (In Sinhala). Department of Archaeology (Sri Lanka). ISBN: 955-9159-54-2. p.45.

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This page was last updated on 18 November 2023

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