Silapassa Pirivena (Tissamaharama)

The existing building ruins at this archaeological site are believed to be part of the ancient Silapassa Pirivena belonged to the Tissamaharama Vihara
Silapassa Pirivena
Silapassa Pirivena ruins

Silapassa Pirivena Archaeological Site (Sinhala: සිලාපස්ස පිරිවෙන පුරාවිද්‍යා ස්ථානය) is located on the land adjoining the Tissamaharama Maha Vidyalaya in Hambantota District, Sri Lanka.


The existing building ruins at the site are believed to be part of the ancient Silapassa Pirivena (Ranasinha, 2021). As mentioned in the chronicles, the Silapassa Pirivena (Silapassaya Parivena) was on the premises of Tissamaharama founded by Kakavannatissa early in the 2nd century B.C. (Nicholas, 1963). According to ancient texts, Silapassa Pirivena was the place where the 30,000 residing monks of the Tissamaharama Vihara studied Tripitaka, the collections of Buddhist sacred scriptures (Ranasinha, 2021). At the time, the incumbent of the Pirivena was Mahasiva Maha Thera (Ranasinha, 2021).

Before archaeological excavations, the site was used as the ground for the public market of Tissamaharama town. The evidence of some ancient structures is still visible on the adjoining Maha Vidyalaya premises.

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Books, Journal Articles

1) Nicholas, C. W., 1963. Historical topography of ancient and medieval Ceylon. Journal of the Ceylon Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society, New Series (Vol VI). Special Number: Colombo. Royal Asiatic Society (Ceylon Branch). p.61.
2) Ranasinha, S., 2021. Tissamaharama urumaya narambamu (In Sinhala). Central Cultural Fund. ISBN: 978-955-613-324-0. p.17.

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