Urumuththa Cave (Matara)

Urumutta cave
Figure 1: The cave, the early-Brahmi inscription and the statue of Rajjuru Bandara

Urumuththa Cave (Sinhala: ඌරුමුත්ත ලෙන) is a Prehistoric Cave Site and a Devalaya Shrine situated in Urumutta village in Matara District, Sri Lanka. The shrine has been dedicated to God Rajjuru Bandara, a local deity worshipped in the region (Wikramaratne, 2015).

The cave was first reported in 1912 by Frederick Lewis who researched the site and discovered some artefacts of the prehistoric period (Lewis, 1912). An Early Brahmi Inscription engraved on the wall of the cave indicates that it had been donated to the usage of Buddhist monks in the beginning of the Christian era.

Urumuththa early Brahmi inscription
Period: 3rd century B.C.-1st century A.D.                    Script: Early Brahmi                    Language: Old Sinhala
Transcript: (1) ha lene (2) Parumaka Naga
Translation: The cave of chief Naga
Reference: Wikramaratne, 2015. p.4.

The cave, in section, taken vertically, is shaped like the letter F (Lewis, 1912). The wall or back of the F is nearly vertical for 20 ft. and the roof is nearly horizontal projecting about 14 ft. (Lewis, 1912). The inscription is cut on the western section of the cave.

Urumutta cave Urumutta cave
#) LankaPradeepa.com extends its gratitude to V. M. Vidanapathirana for providing the necessary photographs required for this article. All the photos are published here with the permission of the author.

1) Lewis, F., 1912. Flints, etc. from a cave at Urumutta. Spolia Zeylanica VIII. pp.142-144. 
2) Wikramaratne, I., 2015. Pauranika Sthana Saha Smaraka: Matara Distrikkaya (In Sinhala). Department of Archaeology (Sri Lanka). ISBN: 955-9159-54-2. pp.4-5.

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This page was last updated on 19 November 2023
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