Dambakola Patuna Temple (දඹකොළ පටුන)

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Dambakola Patuna or Jambukola Patuna is an ancient port in the north of Jaffna which was used during pre-Christian times. After Arahath Mahinda brought Buddhism to Sri Lanka in 250 BCE, his sister, Theri Sanghamitta arrived in Sri Lanka with a Sacred Bo Sapling one year later at this port.

The temple Samudda-panasala ( Jambukola Viharaya) was built to commemorate the arrival of the Bo sapling by King Devanampriya Tissa (250-210 BCE). Later, the same king planted one of the first eight shoots of the Sri Maha Bodhi, in the same place where he kept the original tree before carrying it to Anuradhapura. King Vijayabahu I (1070-1110) has restored this site. The remains of the vihara, such as the Buddha footprint stone and Vatadage seen up to recent times no longer exist there.

This port gradually faded in importance while port Mahathiththa/ Mahathota/ Mantota (now Mantai) located at the mouth of Malvatu oya developed as a key intersection of sea routes and the Dambakola Patuna Viharaya was lost in time. The Great Chronicle of Sri Lanka, the Mahavamsa and Samanthapaasasdika mention pilgrims coming from “Yonaka” country to Jambukola to worship the Jambukola Viharaya in ancient times.

Unfortunately today there is nothing on the temple which shows any antiquity. However, the stupa and ruins of this viharaya were visible as reported by Rasanayagam in 1926. He reports that “Devanampiya Tissa erected a vihara at the port of Jambukola in Nagadipa; likewise, the Tissamaha vihara and the Pacina vihara. The ruins of a dagoba and vihara can still be seen close to the port;” (Rasanayagam, 1926)

Most of the the structures in the temple including the stupa which has been completed in a record 65 days have been done by the Sri Lankan Navy. Even the current bo tree was planted in 1998 by the Navy.

References

  • Rasanayagam, C. (1984) Ancient Jaffna: Being a research into the history of Jaffna, from very early times to the Portuguese period (reprint 1926 .). New Delhi: Asian Educational Services.

Also See

Map of Dambakola Patuna Temple  in  Jaffna Peninsula

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The map above also shows other places of interest within a approximately 20 km radius of the current site. Click on any of the markers and the info box to take you to information of these sites

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Travel Directions to Dambakola Patuna Temple  in  Jaffna Peninsula

Jaffna can be reached through 2 directions. The first one is over the Elephant Pass which is the normal route to Jaffna. The other entrance is from Pooneryn over the newly built Sangupiddi Bridge. This road connects to Mannar.

Route 01 from Colombo to Jaffna (Through Kurunegala)Route 02 from Colombo to Jaffna (Through Puttalam)
Through : Kurunegala – Dambulla – Anuradhapura – Vavuniya
Distance : 400 km
Travel Time : 7-8 hours
Driving Directions : see on Google map
Through : Puttalam – Anuradhapura – Vavuniya
Distance : 400 km
Travel Time : 7-8 hours
Driving Directions : see on Google maps

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