Rajanganaya Wewa Reservoir is one of the newer irrigation reservoirs built damming Kala Oya river at Rajanganaya bordering the North Western and North Central provinces of Sri Lanka. Then the Minister of Lands, Irrigation and Power, Mr. C.P. De Silva initiated the construction of Rajangana Reservoir on April 26, 1964.
The reservoir was built using 100% of Sri Lankan know how and labour. Ceylon Development Engineers (CDE) Co. was responsible for the construction with Mr. Douglas Waidyaratne as the chief engineer. Rajanganaya Dam is 1.2 km long and has a capacity of 100 million cubic meters (81,600 acre-foot) of water.
One side of the Rajanganaya Dam is butted in to a large rock. This rock is known as Kadigala.
Are Ruins of Kadigala Rock of the Ancient Mahamangala Viharaya Mentioned in Mahavamsa?
From the base of the rock, there are about 400 stone cut steps to the top Kadigala. At the top is a fairly large ancient stupa half destroyed by treasure hunters. Indications of some other buildings and dagobas at the base and along the way can be identified though they are completely destroyed beyond recognition.
The earliest mention of this place in the recent era is found is in a note made by Mr. HCP Bell in the Administration Report of the Archaeological Department in 1895. He states
‘Kadigala- Explore Kadigala, a rook hill on the left bank of the Kala Oya near the Vilacci Korale boundary. A long flight of rook-cut steps leads to the summit. At one side of the staircase is an inscription of “Gamini Abaya” (Gaja bahu I, 113-135 A.D.) cut lengthways. There is a ruined dgoba, a cave (once the vihra) full of bricks and with stone images of Buddha and Vishnu. A second dagaba on the very top of the rook is apparently intact, with its stone kota (pinnacle) in position. A weird romantic spot is Kadigala in its isolation.’
This inscription was copied by Dr. Paranavithana in 1930 and was published in 1983. As per Dr Paranavithana, Bell’s identification of Gajabahu I is a mistake.
The inscription consists of two lines of writing. The inscription is the earliest record so far known in which the looped form of ‘ta’ occurs. It has also linguistic features of interest. This epigraph is also of considerable historical importance, for it is the only one so far discovered, of King Tissa, surnamed Vankanasika (of the Aquiline Nose), the son of King Vasabha, who ascended the throne in or about 109 CE. It confirms the chronicles which state that Vasabha had a son named Tissa who occupied the throne after him.
The inscription states ;
Success ! By King Tissa son of King Vasabha, a share (of the merit) hs been given for the benefit of (his) mother Jitadevi
The inscription does not identify what the meritorious act which king Vankanasika Tissa (109-112 CE) carried out but Mahavamsa, the great chronical of Sri Lanka records only one meritorious act. In chapter XXXV verses 112-114 states;
After Vasabha’s death his son Vankanasikatissa reigned three years in Anuradhapura. On the bank of the Gona-Nadi the king Vankanasikatissa built the vihara called Mahamangala. …..
Gona-Nadi was the ancient name of Kala Oya and the site on the bank of that river, at which the only inscription of king Vankanasika Tissa has been found may, with reason, be considered the Mahamangala Viharaya mentioned in the Mahavamsa.
Current Status of Kadigala Ruins
The cave at Kadigala is said to be now submerged under the waters of Rajanganaya Wewa Reservoir. The stupa at the top has a circumference of 7.5 meters and and a height of 2 meters. Excavation of the stupa was done by the Department of Archaeology in 2021 and the stupa has been tentatively dated by the Department of Archaeology to the mid Anuradhapura period (approx. 5th-6th century). However no evidence to conclusively conclude that this was the ancient Mahamangala Viharaya was found.
- Paranavitana, S. (1983) Inscriptions of Ceylon Vol II, Part I. Late Brahmi Inscriptions, Containing rock and other inscriptions from the reign of Kutakanna Abhaya (41 B.C. – 19 B.C.) to Bhathiya II (140-164 A.D). Colombo, Sri Lanka: Department of Archaeology.
- Mahanama , Geiger, W.H. and Bode, M. (1912) The Mahavamsa: Or The Great Chronicle of Ceylon. London: H. Frowde for the Pali Text Society.
- Urugodawatte, B. (2021) ‘Excavation of Kadigala Stupa and Terrace ’, Archaeo Sri Lanka, 1(4), p. 12.
Map of Rajanganaya Kadigala Mahamangala Seya Ruins
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.
|Route from Kurunegala to Rajanganaya Kadigala Mahamangala Seya Ruins|
|Via : Padeniya – Galgamuwa|
Distance : 88 km
Travel time : 1.45 hours
Time to spend : 1-2 hours
Driving directions : see on google map