Illukpitiya Rajamaha Viharaya and Malayadikanda Archaeological Ruins in Ampara- අම්පාර ඉළුක්පිටිය රජමහා විහාරය හා මලයඩිකන්ද පුරාවිද්යා භූමිය
Illukpitiya Rajamaha Viharaya (Malayadikanda Rajamaha Viharaya) is an ancient temple between Hingurana and Damana in Ampara district which is believed to be thousands of years old. Historian Ven. Ellawala Medhananda Thero, has dated this temple complex along with the ruins on the Malayadikanda hillock to the reign of king Kavantissa of Ruhunu kingdom who ruled from 205 BC to 161 BC.
Ven. Medhanada thero has reported 28–30 drip ledge caves and 9 rock inscriptions on the two hillocks surrounding the temple. The temple itself consist of a dilapidated stupa which has been plundered by treasure thieves sevaral times, a cave temple, an ancient bodhigara, number of natural rock pools and remains of ancient buildings scatters over the land.
The remains found on the Illukpitiya Rajamaha Viharaya along with the ancient stupa were declared as a protected archaeological site by the Government with the Gazette issued on 26th December 2014, and describes the location as follows ;
“All places with archeological evidences including ancient Chaithya, cave complex with drip ledges and inscriptions and ruins of buildings at the premises of Ilukpitiya ancient Vihara belonging to Peranigama village situated in Grama Niladhari Division No. W/27/A, Peranigama in the Divisional Secretary’s Division, Damana in Ampara District in Eastern Province. (Latitude 07º21´ 210´´ N and longitude 81º66´ 47.8´´ E).“
The drip-ledge caves and inscriptions is found on the Malayadikanda was declared as a protected archaeological site by the Government with the Gazette issued on 10th October 2014, and describes the location as follows ;
“Drip ledged cave with inscriptions at “Malayadikanda” alias “Aranyakanda” in Madawalalanda village in Grama Niladari Division No. W/24/A Madawalalanda in the Divisional Secretary’s Division, Damana in Ampara District in Eastern Province. (latitude 07º 19879′ N and longitude 081º 68158′ E).“
Map of Illukpitiya Rajamaha Viharaya
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Travel Directions to Illukpitiya Rajamaha Viharaya
Route from Ampara to Illukpitiya Rajamaha Viharaya
|Through : Hingurana|
Distance :20 km
Travel time : 45 mins
Time to spent : 2 hours
Driving directions : see on google map