Parakaduwa Bodhimaluwa Sri Nagabodhi Viharaya lies on the Awissawella – Ratnapura road looking insinificant from outside. The temple is new but the history of this location goes back over 1000 years.
The significance of this temple is the ancient Na Tree (Ironwood) which is believed to be planted in the year 1025 by king Mahinda V (982-1029). During the latter stage of king Mahinda V’s rule, Rohana was reigned by sub king Wickramabahu was was expanding his power base irking king Mahinda. Around 1025, king Mahinda brought his army to Ruhuna and he had planted Cinnamon, Nelli, Aththikka, Madan, Kadawara, Kihiri, Bamboo, Esathu, Domba, Kelle, Alari, Dimbul, Beli, Kumbuk, Sapu, Munamal, Imbul, Hopalu, Jack, Wara, Samadara, Kolon, Mango, Mee, Sal and Na trees along this route. These are trees which had sheltered previous Buddhas in the past. This has been done as a form of protection for the king in the coming battle.
When King Mahinda reached Parakaduwa area, he had spend the night at the place called Ranmagura and planted the Na tree at this location. Na (ironwood) is the tree which sheltered the previous Mangala, Sumana, Rewatha and the Sobhitha Buddhas. This tree has become a place of worship with devala for the villagers around this area with passage of time.
The site was maintained by semi-priests called Ganinnawahanse for a long time until king Rajasinhe I of Seethawaka kingdom destroyed this place of worship leaving only the Na tree. The Maha Ellawala Ganinnawahanse of this place was killed by drowning in the place known at Kanamediriyan Wala in Seethawaka river today.
After destruction of the temple in 1592 it was deserted. Until 1933 this location existed purely as a Na Bodhi where the villagers lit lamps and prayed. Then a priest was invited to stay at this location but again went in to disuse after his death. The temple was again revived and ownership of the land was cleared in 1993 and and the current temple was established.
Today this tree is over 100 feet in height and and the trunk has a diameter of over 20 feet. There is a large hollow in the tree at about 18 feet in height. According to government arborists this tree has been identified as a tree older than 600 years. Accordingly this has been gazetted as a protected tree under the Fauna and Flora Protection (Amended) Act No 49 of 1993.
The tree has been protected against falling down with a large three legged iron structure holding its trunk at the center.
Map of the Historic Naga Bodhi at Parakaduwa Bodhimaluwa Sri Nagabodhi Viharaya
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 Historic Naga Bodhi at Parakaduwa Bodhimaluwa Sri Nagabodhi Viharaya
Route from Colombo to Historic Naga Bodhi at Parakaduwa Bodhimaluwa Sri Nagabodhi Viharaya
|Though : Seethawaka – Avissawella|
Distance : 66 km
Travel time : 2 hours
Driving directions : see on google map