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Nagolla Raja Maha Viharaya

Nagolla Viharaya
Figure 1: The Stupa, a plastered cave and the main cave temple at Nagolla Viharaya.

Nagolla Purana Raja Maha Viharaya (Sinhala: නාගොල්ල පුරාණ රජමහා විහාරය) is a Buddhist temple situated in Nagolla village in Kurunegala District, Sri Lanka.

Locals attribute the construction of this temple to King Valagamba (103, 88-77 B.C.) of Anuradhapura (Anuradha & Kumari, 2015). A cave inscription belonging to the period between the 3rd century B.C. and the 1st century A.D. has been found on the temple premises.
Period: 3rd century B.C.-1st century A.D.                              Script: Early Brahmi                              Language: Old Sinhala
Transcript: Parumaka-Shumana-putana paca-batikana lene 
Translation: The cave of the five brothers who are the sons of the chief Sumana
Citation: Paranavitana, 1970. p.76.

The temple was later renovated during the Kandyan Period. It is said that the Kandyan chief Pilimatalawe Maha Adikarama used prisoners and constructed some stone steps of this temple (Anuradha & Kumari, 2015).

A protected site
The Stupa and the image house with ancient murals in the premises of Nagolla Raja Maha Vihara in the Grama Niladhari Division of 829-Boyagane in the Kurunegala Divisional Secretariat Division are archaeological protected monuments, declared by the government Gazette notifications published on 27 July 2001.  

#) extends its gratitude to Lalith Kekulthotuwage for providing the necessary photographs required for this article. All the photos are published here with the permission of the author.

1) Anuradha, R.K.S.; Kumari, A.S., 2015. Pauranika Sthana Saha Smaraka: Kurunegala Distrikkaya (In Sinhala). Department of Archaeology (Sri Lanka). ISBN: 955-9159-37-2. pp.7-8.
2) Paranavitana, S., 1970. Inscriptions of Ceylon: Volume I: Early Brahmi Inscriptions. Department of Archaeology Ceylon. p.76.
3) The Gazette of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. No: 1195. 27 July 2001.

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This page was last updated on 7 November 2023

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