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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.

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

History
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.  

Attribution
#) LankaPradeepa.com 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.

References
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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