Inscription and Archaeological Ruins at Murunkan Hospital in Mannar (මුරුන්කන් රෝහල් භූමියේ පුරාවස්තු)

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The Base Hospital of Murunkan lies about 1.5 km before Yodha Wewa Reservoir on the Medawachchiya-Mannar road. To reach the hospital one needs to turn to Nanattan Road from the Nanattan junction and travel about 200 meters.

Slab Inscription of King Mahallakanaga (134-140 ACE)

In this hospital lies one of the most important archaeological finds of the whole Mannar district. Here, an old slab inscription is used as a bench for the patients. This slab inscription was discovered at a location about 250 meters away among large stone pillars and ruins of a building when that area was cleared to build quarters for doctors and nurses. Unfortunately, no other ruins exist at this location now (Asanga & Nishantha, 2018).

The slab inscription is 103 cm in length, and 56 cm wide. The letters are 7 cm long and 6 cm wide. The groove of the inscription is about 2mm deep. There are 5 lines in the inscription but the 5th line is faded (Dayananda, 2022).

The language and the script of the inscription are ancient Sinhala and the late Brahmi. It records that King Mahallakanaga (134-140 ACE) had built a viharaya called Kalakhakili in the area called Hatha. King Mahallakanaga also donated income from the Nalaha Tank which belonged to the village Boranaka and income from the Nalaka Tank to this viharaya and the Khakini viharaya (Dayananda, 2022).

All the inscriptions found in the Mannar District were from 9th to 10th centuries. This is the only inscription in Mannar District which proves the span of control of ancient Sri Lankan kings to the area under Mannar in the 2nd century. However, the Archaeological Department has not taken any steps to protect this inscription which still serves as a mare bench for the sick in the hospital.

Other Ruins around Murunkan Hospital

There is a legend that there was a stupa at a location 75m to the southeast of the inscription. That private land has bricks and brick walls. There is a partly worn siripatul gal on the site. There is a stone base and a stone beam in the land belonging to Mrs Malathee Fernando. There are bricks scattered on the roads directed to this site. It can be stated that this complex was expanded over the present Murunganpiddi village. There is a brick wall 100-150m away from the hospital towards the south. Potsherds including black and red ware found in these lands.

There is a part of a fallen pillar with a length of 115 cm and a width of 30 cm in the land to the west of the above-mentioned land. There are brick remains also. In addition, on the land west of the hospital and close to the church is found a 175 cm long and 35 cm wide fallen stone pillar.

The inscription and the surrounding ruins of Murunkan Hospital were declared as protected archaeological monuments on 17 May 2013 as below; The Stone inscription located in the territory of the Murungan Hospital and the site of archaeological ruins located in its vicinity in the Grama Niladhari Division of Murungan in the Nanattan Divisional Secretary’s Division, in Mannar District, Northern Province.

References

  • Asanga, M.V.P.K. and Nishantha, I.P.S. (2018) in මන්නාරම දිස්ත්‍රික්කය. Colombo , Sri Lanka: Department of Archaeology, pp. 42–46.
  • Dayananda, T.A. (2022) ‘මන්නාරම – මුරුන්කන් රෝහල් භූමියේ පුවරු ලිපිය ’, in අභිලේඛන සංග්‍රහය – 3. Colombo, Sri Lanka: Department of Archaeology, pp. 39–42.
  • The Green Movement of Sri Lanka (no date) Guide to Archaeological Values for Tourism in Mannar District. The Green Movement of Sri Lanka.

Also See

Map of Ruins of the Inscription and Archaeological Ruins at Murunkan Hospital in Mannar

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

Driving Directions to Inscription and Archaeological Ruins at Murunkan Hospital in Mannar

From Manar to Ruins of the Murunkan Hospital
Via :
Total Distance : 24 Km
Travel Time : Around 30 minutes
Driving Directions :  View on Google Map

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