Five Hooded Cobra at Nagathambarani- නාගතම්බරණී නටබුන්

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The five hooded cobra at Nagathambarani

The five hooded cobra at Nagathambarani
Image courtesy of Dr. Ashan Geeganage

Among ancient ruins in Sri Lanka one may notice three groups of Naga figures carved on stone. Out of them abundant are the seven hooded Naga figures shown on guard stones. These guard stones flank the doorways of religious buildings such as stupas and image-houses.

The second type, the nine hooded  Naga figures are extremely rare.

The third type, five-hooded Naga figures are found on the banks of ponds, lakes, and tanks.  This motif signifies God Balarama or Baladeva. The five-hooded Nagas seldom assume the anthropomorphic form unlike the first category.

But deep in the jungles between Thiriyaya and Pulmude, lies a exquisitely carved five hooded Naga Sculpture at a top of a hill completely out of place.

The hill is called Valathamale (Valathamalai) and lies between the 49-50 km posts and consist of dry shrub jungle. There is no path to the ruins at the top but it is known to Tamil residents in the area and some visit the site to carry out pujas at the Naga sculpture. 

Next to the Five Hooded Cobra, is a carving of a figure definitely a woman in sitting position facing the Naga.

The site has been apparently a building complex in the ancient times. Ruins are scattered everywhere around this carving. Unfortunately the Department of Archaeology has ignored this site so far and if proper excavations are carried out more information of this unique sculpture might come in to light.

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Map of Five Hooded Cobra at Nagathambarani


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Traveling Directions to Five Hooded Cobra at Nagathambarani

Route from Trincomalee to Five Hooded Cobra at Nagathambarani

Through : Nilaveli – Kuchchaveli
Distance : 49 km
Travel time : 25 mins + climb time
Driving directions : see on google map

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