The Diviyagala Rajamaha Viharaya (also referred to as Diviyagala Hermitage, Diviyagala Aranya) lies in Damana, a monastery belonging to the first century BC is a vanishing monument of East despite its archeological importance.
The foot of this large rock plateau contains the remnants of two buildings including the stone foundation and rock pillars of various sizes, rock stairways, balustrades and a sandakadapahana, or the indigenous entrance stone.
A partially destroyed rock stairway leads up to the rock, where stand the remains of a stupa, which in its glory days would have been visible to the vast valley below. A large sermon seat or an Asanagaraya, an early symbol of Lord Buddha and one of the largest of its kind too lay scattered near the stupa. Also found at the site are three stone replicas of the Buddha’s feet (Siripathula Gal), which is also an early symbol used to represent Buddha.
At the peak of the mountain are the two ponds, a rare source of water in this drought parched land. Closer to the ponds are the drip ledged caves of the monastery, which had been plastered and partitioned in the days gone by. While some still provide shelter to the meditating monks of the hermitage, some are home to giant size porcupines.
The ancient Diviyagala Arama Complex including ancient stupa, all caves with inscriptions and drip ledges, rock inscriptions and ruins of buildings was declared as a protected archaeological site under the antiquities ordinance act on 26 December 2014 and describes the location as follows ;
“Arama complex including ancient Chaithya all caves with inscriptions and drip ledges, rock inscriptions and ruins of buildings belonging to the premises of Diviyagala Rajamaha Vihara situated in Grama Niladhari Division No. W/27/D, Diviyagala in the Divisional Secretary’s Division, Damana in Ampara District in Eastern Province. (Latitude 07º22´798´´ N and longitude 81º62´ 68.4´´ E).”
Map of Diviyagala Rajamaha Viharaya (Aranya Senasanaya)
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Travel Directions to Diviyagala Rajamaha Viharaya (Aranya Senasanaya)
Route from Ampara to Diviyagala Rajamaha Viharaya (Aranya Senasanaya)
|Through : Hingurana|
Distance : 16 km
Travel time : 30 mins
Time to spend : 1 hours
Driving directions : see on google map