Archaeological Ruins of Kottadamuhela in Yala National Park (යාල කොටාදැමූහෙළ පුරාවිද්‍යා නටබුන්)

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Yala National Park, including 5 blocks and the adjoining Kumana National Park consists of one of the largest land areas of Sri Lanka where wildlife roam free. Although a wildlife park now, many centuries ago, This area was covered in thriving cities of the Ruhuna Magama kingdom.

Kottadamuhela is one of the many rocky outcrops in Yala with ruins of the ancient Rununu kingdom in the pre-Christian era. This rock lies inside Yala Block 2 which is a Strict Nature Reserve where no visitors are allowed. This site consists of two ruined stupas on the peaks and several caves with drip ledges with Brahmi inscriptions. These inscriptions have been dated to the 2nd century BCE (Punchihewa, 2004).

Dhatuvamsa mentions about a dynasty of Dasaba kings (දසබෑ රජ පරපුර) who ruled the southern part of Sri Lanka from around the 3rd century BCE. Mahavamsa those kings are mentioned these kings as Kataragama Kshatriyas (කතරගම ක්‍ෂත්‍රියවරුන්). It is also mentioned in Dhatuvamsa that Gotabhaya of Rohana, who killed the ten kings of Kataragama, built a thousand temples on both sides of the river Mahaweli as punishment.

The Kataragama dynasty was crucial in the evolution of the politics and expansion of Buddhism in the southern part of Sri Lanka in the 3rd and 2nd centuries BCE. This family used the fish as the royal emblem and inscriptions of donations by the members of this dynasty are scattered all over the southeastern part of Sri Lanka.

In studying the members of this mysterious dynasty, Kottadamuhela early Brahmi cave inscriptions play a part in identifying some of the members of this family. A lady who belonged to this lineage has donated seventeen caves between Bowattegala and Kottadamuhela. One inscription at Kottadamuhela records the donation of a cave to the Buddhist community. Her name is mentioned as Abi Savera, the daughter of Maha Siva, granddaughter of Dama Raja and consort of Aya Tissa, son of Aya Abaya.

With the inscriptions in Bowattegala, Kottadamuhela, Henannegala, Kal-Udupotana and Kusalankanda, parts of this dynasty have been re-created as below;

List of Archaeological Sites inside Yala and Kumana National Parks

Also See

Map of Archaeological Ruins of Kottadamuhela in Yala

Please click on the button below to load the Dynamic Google Map (ගූගල් සිතියම් පහලින්)

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 Archaeological Ruins of Kottadamuhela in Yala

The park can be reached through Southern Highway. It is 275 kilometres away (the shortest path through Ratnapura avoiding the Highway but travel time is longer) from Colombo.

Route from Colombo to Yala National Park  (Ruhuna) EntranceRoute from Kataragama to Yala National Park  (Ruhuna) Entrance
Through : Southern Highway – Mattala – Tissamaharama – Kirinda
Distance : 275 km
Travel time : 4.30 hours
Driving directions : see on Google map
Through Tissamaharama – Kirinda
Distance : 40 km
Travel time : 45 minutes.
Driving directions : see on Google map


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