Welioya Ethawatunuwewa Sri Udumbararama Rajamaha Viharaya Archaeological Ruins

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Ethawetunuwewa is a remote village about 18 km from Padaviya in Mullaitivu district towards Welioya. These villagers who have been beaten by LTTE terrorists for thirty years are still living a difficult life. According to a letter written in 1989 by a villager in Ethawetunuwewa, there had been 27 attacks on this village by the terrorists (Medhānanda, 2005).

The current Sri Udumbararama Rajamaha Vihara stands on this archaeological site. Despite the loss of numerous artefacts due to the construction of new buildings and human activities in the vicinity, two mounds with stone pillars and remnants of a dagoba mound still endure as significant features on the site.

In the southeast direction of the new bhikku’s dwelling house, there is a mound featuring six large, roughly hewn stone pillars, along with one pillar that has been overturned. Among these, one pillar has a circumference measuring 55×32 cm, and the toppled pillar stands at a height of 2.5 meters. The arrangement of these pillars suggests that this structure may have served as a gathering place for the bhikkus.

Towards the south of this structure lies another mound adorned with six stone pillars, each measuring approximately 30×30 cm. The central portion of this mound stands notably higher. Stepping stones, each 2 meters in length, lead to doorways associated with the building. The entrance itself spans 122 cm in length. Positioned at the left end of this structure is a balustrade stone (korawakgala). Additionally, a section of a stone slab, presumably part of a flower altar, is kept in this area.

About 15 meters south of this mound is a large pillar base stone. About 50 meters east is a newly built cultivation well. There are 3 pillar base rocks nearby.

On one side of this temple, there is a stupa mound with a diameter of approximately 15 meters. Unfortunately, the stupa and numerous artefacts have fallen victim to vandalism by treasure hunters. On the stupa mound, one can observe a pillar base and two stone slabs suspected to be “seat stones” or “Asana” stones.

In one area of the new temple site, various archaeological remnants discovered in the vicinity of the temple have been gathered. These include pillar base stones, balustrades, and door frame base stones. Notably, among these artifacts are sections of a standing Buddha statue. The statue stands at approximately 1.3 meters in height and is about 40 cm wide between the shoulders, though its legs are unfortunately broken.

To reach this temple, take the Welioya road from Padaviya to Nikawewa, then follow the Ethawetunuwewa road. From the Ethawetunuwewa junction, proceed on foot for approximately 600 meters to reach the temple.

References :

  • අසංග, එම්. වී. පී. කේ. සහ නිශාන්ත, අයි. පී. ඇස්., 2018. පෞරාණික ස්ථාන හා ස්මාරක – මුලතිව් දිස්ත්‍රික්කය – පුරාවිද්‍යා දෙපාර්තමේන්තුව. 1වන සංස්කරණය. කොළඹ: රජයේ මුද්‍රණ දෙපාර්තුමේන්තුව, පි162-164
  • Medhānanda, E., 2005. The Sinhala Buddhist heritage in the East and the North of Shri [i.e. Sri] Lanka. 1st ed. Colombo: Dayawansa Jayakody & Co. ,
  • Archaeologysl.maps.arcgis.com. 2020. Web GIS Portal – Web GIS Unit. [online] Available at: <https://archaeologysl.maps.arcgis.com/home/index.html> [Accessed 30 September 2020].

Also See

Map of Welioya Ethawatunuwewa Sri Udumbararama Rajamaha Viharaya

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Driving Directions to Welioya Ethawatunuwewa Sri Udumbararama Rajamaha Viharaya

From Padaviya to Welioya Athawetunwewa Sri Udumbararama Rajamaha Viharaya Archaeological Ruins
Via : Nikawewa
Total Distance : 19 Km
Duration : 30 Minutes
Travel Time : Around 30 Minutes
Driving Directions :  View on Google Map

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