Ganegama Asanagharaya – ගණේගම ආසනඝරය
Ganewewa Ancient Temple is located about 25 miles along the Puttalam Road from the historic city of Kurunegala, near the still suburban Nikaweratiya. This ancient temple is now known as Ganegama Purana Viharaya as it is located in the middle of a beautiful village called Ganewewa which is surrounded ancient Sinhala villages such as Ratmalawetiya, Divullegoda, Konettegama, Godayaya and Nabadewa. According to folklore, its old name is Ganaya Purana Vihara.
According to historic tales, Arahant Maliyadeva, who is considered to be the last Arahant in Sri Lanka, used to visit this temple from the Katagamu Rajamaha Vihara near Deduru Oya from time to time on foot and return to Katagamu Vihara after meditating in peace.
The ancient Kadaim-Potha notes the ferry ports of the Maya Rata over Deduru Oya river as follows; – ” Beyond the pearl rock that falls into the sea of Deduru Oya – Beyond the mouth of Kadiga ferry port – Beyond the ferry port of Buddha Mutta – Beyond the ferry port of Kasawan (Saffron Port) ” etc. The saffron port (Kasawan Thota) refers here to the same port referred in other books as Gane Mankada or Ganaya Thota. It is said that this port was name Kasawan Thota (Saffron Port) since the Buddhist priests from the Ganayawa Purana Viharaya Kasawan Thota (Saffron Port) came to this port at Deduru Oya and the Saffron robes of the priest were left to dry here.
During the early part of the Gampola and Kandy eras, the temples were run and maintained by a priests who had not recived upasampada (thus not considered full priests) called the Ganinnansela. According to forklore. these Ganinnansela used to come to this port to bath thus was named Gane Mankada. According to the Mahavamsa, King Parakramabahu the Great built Dams (Amunu) and irrigation canals over the Deduru Oya at three places in the 12th century AD. Kottabaddha Anicut , Sukara Nijjara Anicut and Doradattika Anicut Those are the three Amunas. The Mahavamsa states that King Parakramabahu the Great built Ridi Ela and built an image house, a dagoba and planted a Bodhi tree in front of the canal. Since there are no other such ruins in the area of the present Ridibendi Ela canal which was known as Raja Ela in ancient times but is now in ruins, the above place mentioned in the Mahavamsa can be presumed as the ancient temple of Ganayawa.
Mr. Charles Godakumbure has presumed that there was an Asanaghara based n the 11-foot-long by 4-by-9-inch-wide stone seat at this location considering the tiles that were buried underneath.
The Bodhighara, Chethiyaghara and Asanaghara are considered by scholars to be the three oldest Buddhist architectural elements in Sri Lanka. Of these, the Chethyaighara also called Vatadage and the Bodhighara are mentioned in most ancient Buddhist literature but the sources do not mention the Asanagara in detail. But there are some references to this in the ancient Attakathas and in the ancient chronicles such as the Mahavamsa and the Deepavamsa.
Archaeologically, the Asana seems to have become popular at the same time the carvings of the sacred footprint (siripathulgala) became popular as a symbol of the Buddha or shortly thereafter. Mr. Gunapala Senadheera (Buddhist Symbolism and Wish Fulfillment) states that the use of seats dates back to the 3rd century BC to the 9th century. With the advent of the creation of Buddha statues in Sri Lanka, the use of symbols to commemorate the Buddha had declined.
There are number of ruins of Asanaghara has been found from various parts of Sri Lanka. Some of the more popular Asanaghara are located in Pulukunawa, Katuwannawa, Halmillawetiya, Uttimaduwa, Ganewewa and Debarawewa Yatala Vehera sites. In addition, Asana and Asanaghara’s have been discovered at Weeraketiya Naigala Rajamaha Viharaya (9 feet 8 inches long and 4 feet 4 inches wide) in Hambantota district, Sigiriya Mahanaga Pabbatharamaya, at Pihimbiyagollewa (8 feet long and 3 feet 10 inches wide) and Veheragala (11 feet 8 inches long and 4 feet 4 inches wide) in the Eastern province, Kokebe (11 feet 5 inches long and 5 feet wide) in Anuradhapura district, Periyankulama Elupothana in Vavuniya District, Thantirimale (9 feet 9 inches long and 4 feet wide), Seruvila, Manik Vatadage, and Rajanganaya Hatthikuchchi Aramic Complex.
There are ruins of Panchavasa Vihara Poya Geya, Pilima Geya, Chaitya, Bodhiya, Naga Pokuna) built in the tradition of Anuradhapura period. The ruined image house consists of the sanctum sanctorum – the Aisle – the pavilion and the pradakshina path. The pedestal where a standing statue was placed has been destroyed by treasure hunters. Below the pedestal, there are twenty-five cavity yanthra gala stone. The relics and the content in these cavities have been looted by treasure hunters. Parts of a standing buddha statue about 7 feet high, except the head have been found here. There are two entrances to the building and there are also carved guard-stones and balustrades.
- ඇම්. ජී. රත්නපාල, 1997. වජ්රාසනය. සංකෘතික පුරාණය, 2(8), pp.31-38.
- මණ්ඩාවල පඤ්ඤවංස හිමි, 2016. පුද බිමක අසිරිය : ගනේවැව පුරාණ විහාරය හා එහි ඉදි වූ ටෙරාකොටා සමාධි බුදුරුව පිළිබඳ සටහනක්. 1st ed. දිවුල්ලෑගොඩ (නිකවැරටිය): ගනේවැව පුරාණ විහාර සංවර්ධන කමිටුව.
Map of Ganegama Asanagharaya
ඉහල සිතියමේ මෙම ස්ථානය පමණක් නොව කිලෝමීටර 20ක් ඇතුලත තවත් වැදගත් ස්ථාන ලකුණු වී ඇත. මේ ස්ථාන බැලීමට සිතියම කුඩා කර බලන්න. වැඩි විස්තර සඳහා අවශ්ය ස්ථානය මතට මුසිකය ගෙනයන්න. එසේ නැතිනම් click කරන්න.
ගූගල් සිතියම වෙනත් ස්ථාන වලට චලනය කර ගෙනයාමෙන් එම ප්රදේශයේ වැදගත් ස්ථාන බලාගත හැක.
Route to Ganegama Asanagharaya
|Road from Kurunegala to Ganegama Asanagharaya|
Distance: Kilometers: 45
Travel time: 60 minutes
Driving directions: See Google Map