Nella Archaeological Ruins at Namaloya – නෑල්ල පුරාවිද්‍යා භූමිය

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Ruins of Nella Archaeological Ruins at Namaloya

Ruins of Nella Archaeological Ruins at Namaloya
Photo courtesy of Dr. Ashan Geeganage

Nella is remote village off Namal Oya in Ampara District. Like most of the other ancient Buddhist ruins in the area, Nella too is attributed to the Regional king Saddhatissa brother of King Dutugemunu who ruled this area during the reign of Dutugenumu.

The ruins are scattered around a large area and the department of Archaeology has cleared and conserved much of the ruins but the work has not been completed. Ruins include remains of ancient buildings,  korawakgal ( granite balustrades), a stupa completely covered in earth which now resembles a mound of earth, a Youpa Gala (center stump of the ancient stupa) granite lamps, urination stones, Nidan Gal (A granite block with 3×3 or 4×4 holes filled with valuables or relics and placed underneath Buddha statues), granite steps at various places and a large number of pillars scattered all over the land.  A huge hole has been dug at the top of the stupa by treasure looters in search of the valuables and relics deposited in the dagoba.

At the far end of the ruins, lies some ancient drip-ledge caves which have been used by the meditating bikkus. Some of the walls on the caves are filled with ancient cave art. A rock inscription has been found at the site but has not been read.

To reach the site, from Ampara, travel to Uhana.  From Uhana take the Himidurawa Road for 3.6 km till you reach the 4 way junction where 3 roads falls along canals. Take the straight road which is the Kahatagasyaya Road until you come to the village known as Nella.  An “Kalu Borad” of the archeological department will direct you to the archaeological site from Nella, 2 km down this narrow and rough road will bring you to the site and 2km on the same road will bring you the Nella Rajamaha Viharaya, a new construction.

Some believe that the Nella was called Digawapi in the ancient times and that this is the real degawapi.

The other route the site is from Namal Oya side. From Namal Oya take the road to Kahatagasyaya travel for 2km on the same road passing Kahatagasyaya to reach the same “Kalu Borad” of the archeological department.

Also See

Map of Nella Archaeological Ruins at Namaloya


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Travel Directions to Nella Archaeological Ruins at Namaloya

Route from Colombo to Ampara  Archaeological Ruins at Namaloya (partial)

Through : Uhana
Distance : 17 km
Travel time : 1 hours
Time to spend : 1 – 1.5 hours
Driving directions : see on google map

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