Ambastala Dagaba (Sela Chethiya) and the Vatadage (අම්බස්තල දාගැබ)

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Climbing up the 1,840 steps of the ancient monastery of Mihintale, this is the first relic that comes to view once you reach the upper terrace of Mihintale Complex.  Ambastala Dagaba (also called Sela Chethiya) is believed to have been built by King Mahadatika Mahanaga (09-21 AC) on the exact place where the great Mahinda Thero met King Devanampiyatissa.

The place where the Sela Chethiya would be built in the future is the last place mentioned in Mahawansa which the Buddha visited on his 3rd visit to Sri Lanka and is in the 15th place of the Solosmasthana.  According to the chronicles, this stupa was built to enshrine the Buddha’s hair relic between the eyebrows ( called Urna Roma).

This stupa was converted to a Vatadage style stupa in the 2nd or 3rd century and most of the pillars where the wooden roof stood upon.

A detailed description of the overall “Stupaghara” or “Chethiyaghara” architecture including vatadages of Sri Lanka can be found here.

Also See

Map of the Ambastala Dagaba and the Vatadage

Please click on the button below to load the Dynamic Google Map (ගූගල් සිතියම් පහලින්)
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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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Driving Directions to Ambastala Dagaba and the Vatadage

Mihintale can be reached through many routes from Colombo. The two main routes are through Puttalam (Puttalama) and through Kurunegala. Traveling from Puttalam you will pass the scenic Wilpattu area. From Kurunegala, there are two main routes to Mihintale. The most common route is through Dambulla. The other route is through Galgamuwa. Out of all the routes, the most commonly used is the Kurunegala – Dambulla route (Route 2).

Route 01 from Colombo to Mihintale (A3)Route 02 from Colombo to Mihintale
Though : Negombo – Chilaw – Puttalam
Distance :231 km
Travel Time : 5.15 hours
Driving Directions : see on Google map
Through : Central Expressway – Badagamuwa – Dambulla
Distance : 223 km
Travel Time : 4.45 hours
Driving Directions : see on Google maps
Route 03 from Colombo to Mihintale Route from Anuradhapura to Mihintale
Though : Ambepussa – Kurunegala – Padeniya – Thambuthegama
Distance : 232 km
Travel Time : 5 hours
Driving Directions : see on Google map
Distance :15 km
Travel Time : 30 minutes
Driving Directions : see on Google map

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