Nagana Gala Ruins in the Jungles of Wasgamuwa – (වස්ගමුව වන තුල සැඟවුණු නගන ගල නටබුන්)

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View from the top of Nagana Gala in the Jungles of Wasgamuwa
View from the top of Nagana Gala in the Jungles of Wasgamuwa
source : Ruins in Central Eastern Area of Sri Lanka

Nagana Gala is a rocky outcrop hidden deep in the jungle of Wasgamuwa, far away from the tourist jeep tracks and rarely visited by any humans.

Wasgamuwa National Park is a jungle dotted with a large number of ancient Buddhist ruins known only to few. They are inaccessible to general visitors to park as well as anybody who wishes specifically visit the sites. There are are no roads and the access is by foot many kilometers through the wildlife infested jungle paths. Currently only the treasure hunters seem to have unlimited access to these sites.

`The northern boundary of Wasgamuwa National Park is specially packed with ruins of the ancient civilization in Sri Lanka. Malagamuwa Reservoir is a comparatively medium sized reservoir in this area now destroyed and absorbed in to the jungle of Wasgamuwa. Details of this reservoir was reported by HCP Bell in 1905 Archaeological Commissioners report. This reservoir called Malagommana is ranked one of the largest reservoirs in Thamankaduwa.

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Numerous Buddhist sites surrounding this reservoir has been discovered and and documented by an archaeology team from Japan in addition to the detail study of the two Bisokotuwa’s of the reservoir. One of the Bisokotuwa of this reservoir is the largest ever discovered in the country.

Nagana Gala covers about 22 acres of area. It spans 280m east-west, 540m north-south and 142m high. This rock is marked on the survey department 1:50,000 map but it does not identify this rock as a site with ruins. Access to this site is by crossing the Mahaweli River at Kalinga Nuwara Island.

After landing on the left bank of the Mahaweli River from Kalinga Nuwara and heading west for about 0.25 km, you will reach the riverbed called the Pitakinda River (Pargas Ela) on the 1:50,000 map. Cross the river (there is no water in the dry season), and after about 0.1km, you will reach an open place called the Damana. A large number of stone tool chert pieces are scattered on the rocks near this area, and according to Archeology Department, this area was possibly stone tool manufacturing factory in the past. Travel further west for 0.6km and enter the jungle again, cross the dead river twice on the way, and reach the target Nagana Gala about 1.2km west.

Plan of Nagana Gala Ruins in the Jungles of Wasgamuwa
Plan of Nagana Gala Ruins in the Jungles of Wasgamuwa
source : Ruins in Central Eastern Area of Sri Lanka

A staircase (marked F) is carved on the slope of the rock from the eastern foot to the middle of the rock hill. Two caves at the site marked as D and E can be seen on the north side of the same elevation where the stairs end. The Kema (Pathaha) marked as H lies between the 2 caves.

Another stairway built by carving steps on the rock slope is found at the point marked as B, which extends from the west-southwest to the upper part of the north-northwest. Pataha C is located on the south side of the base, and Pataha G is located on the northeast side of the stupa near the top. Since it is an archaeological site on a rocky hill, the ruins has been exposed to the wind and rain for thousands of years, and has been significantly weathered and collapsed as a whole.

The stupa at the top lies at a height of 142 meters from the bottom. Due to the location, the base is badly weathered and has collapsed. Today it resembles a mound of earth overgrown with scrub. But the diameter of the dome can be measured as 18.5 meters. A large hole measuring 4 meters in diameter at the top , 2.5 meters at the bottom and 4.5 meters of depth has been dug by treasure hunters at the center of the stupa. Fragments of a pillar, possibly the Yupagala of the stupa is seen scattered around, possibly destroyed by treasure hunters. With a 360 degree undisrupted view, this stupa would have been a magnificent landmark visible for many kilometers during its heydays.

The cave marked as D measures 12.4 meters in length, 5.1 meters in height and a depth of 3.6 meters. A drip ledge has been carved at the top of the entrance confirming it to be a adobe for a meditating monk in the past. The cave marked as E measures 11 meters in length, 3.6 meters in height and a depth of 4.5 meters. This cave too is equipped with a drip ledge to stop water dripping in to the cave. A 4.3m square and 1.2m deep pit has been dug inside this cave by treasure hunters and it has been noted that this has been quite recent activity.

References

  • Okamura, T., 2012. Ruins of Wasgomuwa National Park – Sri Lanka — 2009/2010 Survey Report. Tokyo: South Asian Ruins Exploration and Research Society (SARERS)

Map of Nagana Gala Ruins in the Jungles of Wasgamuwa

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Travel Directions to Nagana Gala Ruins in the Jungles of Wasgamuwa

Route from Dambulla to Nagana Gala inside Wasgamuwa National Park Entrance
Through : Bakamuna
Distance : 121ckm
Travel time :3 hours
Driving directions : see on google map
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