The Mystic Ruins of Divulwewa

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Divulwewa Ancient Monastery

Anuradhapura District is dotted with ancient archaeology sites scattered all over the district rarely known by general public. To find these you need to go off the common roads and need to travel through interior roads where archaeological boards pop up every few hundred meters.

Divulawewa Archaeological site is such a site which has been cleared and conserved off the beaten track. The Ancient name of the site is said to be Komarikawela and has been a monastic complex housing hundreds of resident monks.

The Divulwewa Monastery has been flourishing during Anuradhapura period. Ruins of restored image houses and monks dwellings are all over the temple grounds but striking features among the ruins is what is believed to have been a library on stone pillars (Tam Pita) and a kitchen with a stone sink.  Also urinal stones and stones used for dyeing monk’s robes can be seen.The buildings are from the mid Anuradhapura period, from the 3rd to 6th century. Some remnants such as buildings on pillars could have been built in the much later Kandy period.

The hidden attraction of the Divulawewa Archaeological Reserve is the exquisite Samadhi Buddha statue carved out of sandstone almost a replica of the Samadhi Statue of Anuradhapura. This Samadhi statue is also similar in style and well preserved. This is 2.13 meters in height compared to 2.21 meter height of Samadhi Buddha at Maha Mevuna Uyana in Anuradhapura. Only the nose is damaged probably by toppling over. Today this statue lies under a canopy made by the Archaeology department.

Compared to Samadhi statue at Anuradhapura, the statue’s robe is almost invisible and lacks any folds. the waist area is also much wider and fuller  than  most Buddha statues of this era.

Next to this Aramic Complex lies a burial grounds of priests. This may have been used even before this time since megalithic stone cists have also been found in the nearby Kokabe.

The site of the Divulwewa Archaeology site lies between Galenbindunuwewa and Hamillewa along the Habarana – Hamillewa road. The location of Divulwewa should not be confused with Mahadivulwewa which lies few kilometer to the South. To reach this site travel 15 km on the towards Maradankadawala from Habarana and take the Ganewelpola – Hamillewa road. Travel a total of 18 km passing Galenbindawewa and Komarikawala wewa. A small archaeology “Kalu Board” will show the turn off to the site just before Hettu Wewa. The site lies 350 km down this road. A reservoir called Divul Wewa can be reached traveling a further 1 km on the same lane.

The ruins of Divulwewa were discovered during 1960’s and its restoration work has commenced in 1977. The Administration Report of the Archaeological Commissioner for 1979 reports;

A raised site banked with rubble is situated a short distance to the north-west of the shrine of the seated Buddha. The excavation of this terrace which appears to have two lower platforms on the east and west sides was taken in hand towards the close of the year. The excavated meagre rubble walls to the north and east of the image house of the seated Buddha were conserved.

The image house built of brick situated to the north-east of the above-mentioned image house was conserved. This image house is provided with a bay in front, and a side entrance ( or exit after Pradaksina) a feature found in such buildings belonging to the late Anuradhapura period and the Polonnaruwa period.

The excavation of a well for the work site and the departmental quarters was completed.

References

  • De Silva, R. and Karunaratne, W., n.d. Administration report of the archaeological commissioner for the year 1979. 1st ed. Colombo: Department of the Government Printing, p.17.
  • Lanka Excursions Holidays – Kandy. n.d. Diwulwewa and its Samadhi Buddha. [online] Available at: <https://www.lanka-excursions-holidays.com/divulwewa.html> [Accessed 13 June 2021].

Also See

Map of Divulwewa Archaeological Reserve

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Driving Directions to Divulwewa Archaeological Reserve

Route from Colombo to Divulwewa Archaeological Reserve Route from Habarana to Divulwewa Archaeological Reserve
Though : Ambepussa – Kurunegala – Dambulla – Habarana
distance : 237 km
Travel time : 5.30 hours
Driving directions : see on google map
Though :
distance : 52 km
Travel time : 1 hour
Driving directions : see on google map

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