The moment we say Nagadeepa Viharaya what comes to mind is the Nagadeepaya at Jaffna. But hidden deep inside the Uraniya village in the Badulla Bimtenni Korale of Ridimaliyadda District Secretariat Division of the Badulla District is ruins of an ancient unexplored temple complex also called Nagadeepa Viharaya known for its mystical supernatural powers among the villagers.
Even the the President Mahinda Rajapaksha who had heard the mystical powers of this temple has visited this site in November 2007 to make a vow to defeat the Tamil Terrorists which has been murdering thousands of men, women and children for almost 30 years.
The ruins of this temple is situated adjoining the Nagadeepa Reservoir at Rideemaliyadda. According to the folklore this area had been a populated by the Naga (Cobra) tribe in the ancient past and thus has been called Nagadeepa.
The reservoir in the Uraniya too is called Nagadeepa Tank which has been built in 1968. With this irrigation scheme most of the Nagadeepa Temple land has been gone under the water of Nagadeepa wewa along with all its unexplored ruins.
Since no proper archaeological survey has been done on the ruins of Mahiyangana Nagadeepa, its history is still unknown but according to the folklore this temple goes back as far as the reign of King Dutugemunu where its says that the prince used this area as a camping and a training ground for his armies and that he made a vow at this location before going to war with the Elara.
The temple consists of ruins of 2 stupa and many ruins of buildings. Its antiquity could be traced to the 6-7 c. A.D. from the characters of an inscription discovered from the site. However pillar inscriptions and slab inscriptions dating to 9-10c A.D. had been found in the temple premises.
The smaller stupa at the Nagadeepa Site is believed to be built by king Dutugemunu is fairly preserved up to the Devatha Kotuwa.
Above this stupa is a massive stupa which is now seen just as a overgrown mound of earth. At the top of this is a old image house.
Some restoration of the ruins has been carried out in 1989 by the directions of the President R. Premadasa parreal to the 1989 Gam Udawa in Mahiyanganaya. The existing residence building for the bikkus which is surrounded by ancient rock pillars and other ruins has been found to be built on top of the ancient Buddha image house.
Today this ruined temple is looked after by a single monk who is said to be the only person who has been able to take adobe with the dark forces in this mystic land. Many other priests who has come to the temple has left soon due the fears of the dark forces leaving only this priest to look after the temple.
After the end of the war, then president Mahinda Rajapaksha has visited the site again and built a covered an enclosure enshrining a 1 1/2 feet high cobra statue made of silver and plated in gold to fulfill his wow. The statue had been completely hidden from public eye. Then his adviser (astrologer?) has informed that the placement of the statue is wrong and another enclosure has been built east to the stupa this time in glass and the Cobra Statue has been deposited in it visible to the public. In February 2015 it was reported that this statue was stolen from the temple.
The Archaeological Department has declared the Ridimaliyadda Nagadeepa Viharaya as a protected monument.
Map of the Nagadeepa Rajamaha Viharaya at Mahiyanganaya
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.
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Traveling to Nagadeepa Rajamaha Viharaya at Mahiyanganaya
Route from Mahiyanganaya Town to Nagadeepa Rajamaha Viharaya at Mahiyanganaya
|Through : Mahiyangana – Uraniya – Bibile|
Distance : 26 km
Travel time : 45 minutes
Driving directions : see on google map