Pilimagala Ruins Hidden in the Jungles of Wasgamuwa – වස්ගමුව වන තුල සැඟවුණු පිළිමගල නටබුන්
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. Here deep in the jungle lies a rock kown as Pilimagala (meaning Rock of Buddha Statue) where carvings of 2 seated Buddha statues are found. Both statues lies close to each other carved in to the rock. This rock is also referred to as Hamudurugala (meaning Rock of the Monk) by the locals.-0-
Pilimagala rock is about 90 meters long in the north-south direction and about 15 meters wide in the east-west direction. General height of the rock is about 6 meters. The two sitting Buddha statues are engraved in to the rock with a gap of about 16m apart. Buddha statue A on the south side is located at a relatively low position, and is made with a square depression (engraving in the shape of a bas-relief on the wall) at a position 130 cm from the current ground. The Buddha statue (marked as B) on the same wall, about 16m north of it, is built at a height of 225cm, at a slightly higher elevation than the carving A. Deep cavities are found at the bottom of the rock underneath both statues dug by treasure hunters. Since the statues are not large, they have escaped the attacks of treasure hunters. There are no remains of any other structure near these carvings.
The statue marked as A is carved inside a 70cm wide, 73cm high and 20 cm deep square cut in to the rock. The embossed statue is seated in Samadhi position. The nose and the mouth can still be clearly distinguished but the area around the eyes are badly weathered. A 1.3 meter deep pit has been dug by treasure hunters beneath the statue. Two more similar pits are found 3-4 meters east of statue A.
The statue B lies 16 meters north to statue A. It is carved inside a a square 72cm wide, 123 cm high and 11 cm deep. The statue looks similar to statue A. Although the facial expressions are not clear due to the weathering of the statue, the shapes of the eyes, eyebrows, mouth, chest, navel, Buddhist hair, and folds of robe sill can be seen. This carving seems to have been done at a later date than the first one. In the upper corner, you can see a few white stucco marks. In addition, traces of red pigment applied on the plaster can also be seen.
The entrance to the Wasgamuwa National Park lies in the southern border. There are safari jeep tracks upto Wasgamu Oya. There are no safari tracks beyond this point other than rough paths which you need to navigate with special guides.
- 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 Pilimagala Ruins Hidden in the Jungles of Wasgamuwa
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
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Travel Directions to Pilimagala Ruins Hidden in the Jungles of Wasgamuwa
|Route from Dambulla to Wasgamuwa National Park Entrance|
|Through : Bakamuna|
Distance : 80 km
Travel time : 1.45 hours
Driving directions : see on google map