Muhudu Maha Viharaya at Pottuvil (පොතුවිල් මුහුදු මහා විහාරය)

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Muhudu Maha Viharaya lies in the town of Pottuvil boarding the sea on the east coast of Sri Lanka. Pothuvil is a Muslim-dominated area.  The Muslim community in this area are the descendants of 4000 Muslim families who were given refuge by King Senarath in 1626  following their expulsion from the island’s Western coastal belt by the Portuguese led by Captain De Saa.

Muhudu Maha Viharaya which was built over 2000 years ago had owned 264 acres during the British rule and by the time this site was gazetted in 1965, the land had shrunk to 30 acres with over 200 acres grabbed by the villagers. With the LTTE terrorists chasing away all the Sinhalese from the eastern region, this area went unchecked and by the time the war ended, a further 27 acres had been grabbed by the villagers leaving only 3 acres of Muhudu Maha Viharara.

After 2015, the government had to get involved and get about 60 acres allocated to the temple. Since the pilgrims were continuously been harassed by the villagers living on the access road to the temple, a new road has been built along the coastline avoiding the narrow access road to the temple through the Muslim communities. A new stupa too has been built with support from security forces.

During the LTTE war and thereafter, a single Buddhist priest has been living here protecting this site from Muslim extremist elements who are continuously harassing the priest. When we visited the site the priest talked about the threats of the LTTE, how the surrounding Muslim landowners have pushed the temple boundaries so much that the temple owns only a small piece of land, days that he had lived without a single meal with almost non-existent Buddhist community to support the temple, harassment of Muslim politicians, and the apathy of the government to protect the site.

Also See

Driving Directions to Pottuvil Muhudu Maha Viharaya

Route 01 from Colombo Pottuvil Muhudu Maha ViharayaRoute 02 from Colombo Pottuvil Muhudu Maha Viharaya
Through : Ratnapura – Tanamalwila – wellawaya – Buttala
Distance :352 km
Travel time : 8 hours
Driving Directions : see on google map
Through : Hambanthota – Kataragama – Buttala
Distance :305 km
Travel time : 8 hours
Driving Directions : see on google map

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