Hiriwadunna Sri Bodhiraja Forest Hermitage – හිරිවඩුන්න ශ්‍රී බෝධිරාජ ආරණ්‍ය සේනාසනය

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The main Bodhi Tree of Hiriwadunna Hermitage which is at the center of controversy

The main Bodhi Tree of Hiriwadunna Hermitage which is at the center of controversy
photo by krishan De Mel licensed under CC BY-ND 3.0

Hiriwadunna Ruins along with its ancient bodhi tree lies just before Habarana Town about 1 km away from the main road.

This site came in to limelight few years ago when a local priest published a conspiracy  theory book called ‘Apa Upan Me Helabima Budun Upan Jambudweepayai’ (අප උපන් මේ හෙළබිම බුදුන් උපන් ජම්බුද්වීපයයි) arguing that the Buddha was born and lived in ancient Sri Lanka but by a master conspiracy of King Asoka of India, this was made to forgotten with time.

According to this book, Buddha’s birth location Lumbiniya is located in Theldeniya, Isipathanaya where the Buddha preached the first sermon is said to be Isinbessagala Viharaya in Medawachchiya. Kusinara where Buddha passed away is at Budugala and Bodh Gaya where Buddha attained the blissful state the Buddha is identified as Hiriwadunna and the ancient Bodhi Tree which is at the Hiriwadunna Monastery has been identified as the original Sri Maha Bodhi where Buddha attained nirvana.

A large slab of stone, probably a Asanagara ( symbolic seat of Buddha) lies at the bottom of the ancient bo tree now partially buried under the roots of the tree has been identified as the Vajrasanaya where Buddha sat during enlightenment.

A stream which flows nearby has been named the ancient Neranjana River. There is type of tussock grass which is not generally not commonly found. This is said to be ‘Kusa Thana’ which the merchants ‘Thapassu Balluka’ offered to Buddha on the 7th week of enlightenment.

Ruins of a ancient Sakman Maluwa ( a promenade used for meditation) is identified as being made by the Muchlinda, the cobra king where Buddha spent his 3rd week after enlightenment. Ruins of the granite building nearby has been identified as the Ruwan Geya, where the Buddha spent his 4th week after enlightenment.

Irrespective of the validity of these comments in the book which has been rejected by most and even banned from libraries, Hiriwadunna is a place to visit for those who are interested in Sri Lankan history and buddhist heritage.

Also See

Map of Hiriwadunna Sri Bodhiraja Forest Hermitage

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The map above also shows other places of interest within a approximately 20 km radius of the current site. Click on any of the markers and the info box to take you to information of these sites.

Zoom out the map to see more surrounding locations using the mouse scroll wheel or map controls.


 

Travel Directions to Hiriwadunna Sri Bodhiraja Forest Hermitage

Route from Colombo to Hiriwadunna Sri Bodhiraja Forest Hermitage

Route from Dambulla to Hiriwadunna Sri Bodhiraja Forest Hermitage

Through : Divulapitiya – Giriulla – Narammala – Kurunegala
Distance :179
Travel time : 4 hours.
Driving directions : see on google map
Distance :22 km
Travel time : 30 minutes.
Driving directions : see on google map

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