Buddhannehela Ruins in Padaviya – පදවිය බුද්ධංනේහෙල රජමහා විහාරය නටබුන්

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The ancient ruins of Buddhannehela ( Buddhanehela, Buddhanhela) Viharaya are situated about 10 kilometers away from Padaviya on the Kebithigollewa road close to the Anuradhapura – Vavuniya boundary.  This ancient ancient temple complex is also referred as Buddhangala now days. The complex lies on a rocky hill surrounded by the forest.  The current bikku quarters and and ancient ruins lie on the cliffs of these rocks.

Out of the two drip ledge caves found at the site, one  is converted in to a shrine room. The smaller second cave stocks many ruined artifacts found at the site. An ancient building close to the pond on the rock surface shows it had 24 pillars. It seems they were fitted in to square holes carved in to the flat rock surface. A fragment of a granite door frame lying close to the pond is said to be of this building.

The stupa at the top has completely disappeared. A lotus shaped pedestal of a standing Buddha statue, a rock cut basin and some stone pillars are among the ruins at the top which you need to climb 43  steps cut in to the rock to reach.

To the right of the Buddhannehela rock are 3 more caves. One of the caves has been turned in to a new image house and more artifacts of the ancient temple can be seen here.

Two rock inscriptions and two pillar inscriptions has been found at the Buddhannehela site. Both rock inscriptions are weather worn and one pillar inscription can be found inside the shrine room standing upside down. This pillar has been possibly brought from some other site long ago and kept in the cave. According to Rev Ellawala Medhananada, this inscription can be dated to 9th or 10th centuries.

Wilhelm Geiger on his publication of Culavamsa: Being the More Recent Part of Mahavamsa, states that a inscription found at Buddhannehela was possibly belongs to the period of Kassapa V ( 914-923) possibly referring to the above pillar inscription.

Buddhannehela Site has provides a unique relic chamber which are buried under standing Buddha statues (Yanthra Gala) . This is the only site which has offered a five chambers instead of 9 chambers found everywhere else.  The five chambers are cut in to the rock in form of a cross, four on four sides and one on the center. (Senarat Paranavitana Commemoration Volume – edited by Senarat Paranavitana, Leelananda Prematilleka, Johanna Engelberta van Lohuizen-De Leeuw)

Primary Source : The Sinhala Buddhist Heritage In The East and the North Of Shri Lanka
by Ven. Ellawala Medhananda Thero

Also See

Map of Buddhannehela Ruins in Padaviya


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Travel Directions to Buddhannehela Ruins in Padaviya

Route from Anuradhapura to Buddhannehela Ruins in Padaviya

Through : Medawachchiya – Kebithigollewa
Distance : 77 km
Travel time : 1.5 hours
Driving directions : see on google map

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