Sandagiri Monastic Complex of Tissamaharama – සඳගිරි ස්තූපය

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Sandagiri Stupa

Sandagiri Stupa

According to the Great Chronicle Maha Vamsa, when the Sri Maha Bodhi was brought to Sri Lanka by Theiree Sangamitta, members of the ‘Kshethiya’ clan of ‘Chandana Grama’ was present at Anuradhapura taking part of the celebrations. It is now accepted that the ‘Chandana Grama’ is the area now known as Sandagiriya.

Sandagiri Stupa

Sandagiri Stupa before conservation

Emperor Asoka also send various relics as gifts to the Sri Lankan king Devanampiyathissa (250-210 BC) and it is believed that they were handed over to his brother Mahanaga who was a regional king in the Ruhuna. The king Mahanaga built Sanadagiri Stupa enshrining these relics and a rare conch shell in the 3rd century BC. This shell has been later enshrined in the Tissamaharama Dageba. Therefore this stupa is believed to be the oldest stupa in the southern part of the country. Nearby inscriptions records land donations to this temple by the Kings Bathikabhaya and Vasaba.

The temple is built on 200×200 feet platform. The floor is tiled with bricks. Only about 1/2 of the stupa remains today. The circumference of the stupa is 340 feet (103 meters) and the current height is 60 feet.

It has flower altars at the four cardinal points and on the north side a remarkable piece of stone carving, perfectly cut and beautifully polished, can be found.

To the south west of the stupa lies an large bodhigara (bo tree house) which has been conserved recently. A large building structure surrounding the bo tree has been unearthened.  The square cavity at the center marks where the Bo tree had lie.

All the ruins which had been discovered around the Sandagiri  Stupa has been displayed around the weli maluwa. These include “Siri Pathul Gal” (foot print of Buddha carved in rock slabs) which were objects of veneration in the 2-3 rd century BC, before the Buddha statues were used.  A large The granite Yupa Kanuwa (යූප කනුව) and the pinnacle (ගල් ඡත්‍රය)  of the ancient stupa which was built before the development of Devatha Kotuwa architecture in stupas is also on display. A replica of how this stupa would have looked 2000 years ago is also displayed on the maluwa.

References : “Sri Lankave Purana Stupa By Malinga Amarasinghe

Also See

Map of Sandagiri  Stupa  of Tissamaharama


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Travel Directions to Sandagiri  Stupa

Route from Colombo to Sandagiri  Stupa

Route from Weerawila Junction to Sandagiri  Stupa

Through : Avissawella – Ratnapura – Pelmadulla – Udawalawe – Tanamalwila – Tissamaharama
Distance : 225 km
Travel time : 5 hours
Driving directions : see on google map
Through : Demarawewa – Tissamaharama
Distance : 10 km
Travel time : 10 minutes
Driving directions : see on google map

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