Warakagoda Veheragoda Stupa Archaeological Site – කළුතර වරකාගොඩ ඓතිහාසික ස්තුප ගොඩැල්ල
Pasyodun Rata was the name Kalutara was known at earlier times. It is believed that Warakagoda was a flourishing sub kingdom built by Vijaya Epa (1399-1415). At the temple known as Ganeuda Purana Viharaya, ruins of a palace complex and a temple of tooth of the Warakagoda Kingdom of Pasyodun Rata can be found conserved today.
According the the Great Chronical Mahasamsa, prince Manabharana has fought king Jayabahu (1110-1111) of Polonnaruwa kingdom and on his defeat has retreated to Pasyodun (Pas-Yodun) Koralaya where Manabharana had hidden in a fortress built by him. Some believe the ruins at the temple is part of this fortress built by him while some believe he hid in the caves of Warakagoda Purana Gallen Rajamaha Viharaya few kilometers away from this temple.
Even today, names of the areas around these ruins give an hint of the kingdom. Kumaragewatta, where the princes lived, Dissawatta, where the Disapathi (government agent) lived and Uyanwatta where the royal gardens were located.
The Buddhist temple complex would have laid beyond the palace, and ruins of an ancient stupa has been discovered about 1 km from the palace ruins. Even this location was just a mound of earth and was part of a rubber plantation with rubber grown of the mound. Locally this mound was known as Veheragodella and as per elders it has been excavated few decades ago and the relics has been taken away.
The archaeology department has now restored this stupa with difficulty. In Sri Lanka stupa’s were build with three Pesava (berm) from earliest stupas. Rarely you would find stupa’s with 2 berms such as Somawathi Stupa and Sandagiriya Stupa. Even rare are stupa’s with single pesava such as the Kiri Vehera in Katharagama. During the excavation of the Veheragodella, it was found out that this small stupa also has been been built using a single pesava makings this restoration even more valuable.
However the excavations didn’t uncover any relics but an unauthorized excavation carried out about 5 decades ago has uncovered a ring and part of a female necklace. Based on the bricks used to build the Dagoba, this temple has been dated to the era of the Kotte kingdom. A pendant found here is gold plated. A pair of birds are marked on it. This is similar to the jewelry used in contemporary China.
The stupa has been built on top of a square platform. The edge of the platform is reinforced by a type of a natural rock splints known as “Inigal” commonly found in the area. These Inigal can still be found in the rubber estates in the area. Therefore, when the stupa was restored in the year 2013, the platform has ben restored to the initial state using the same Inigal rock splints .
To reach this site, travel to Warakagoda from Kalutara ( approx 24km) through Udowita. 1.4 kilometers passing Udowita junction, you will come across Salgas Mawatha on the left. (as at today, Salgas mawatha is not on the google maps). Travel 300 meters down this road to reach this site just by the road.
- මතුගම සෙනෙවිරුවන්, 20219. මහ කළක මහ පුවත : කළුතර දිස්ත්රික්කය පිලිබඳ පුරාවිද්යාත්මක විමර්ශනයක්. 1st ed. රාජගිරිය: කේ. එස්. යූ . ග්රැෆික් (ප්රයිවෙට්) ලිමිටඩ්.
- මතුගම සෙනෙවිරුවන්, 2013. වරකාගොඩ ඉතිහාසය හෙළි කරන වෙහෙරගොඩ ස්ථූපය. [online] divaina.com. Available at: <https://www.divaina.com/2013/09/04/badada03.html> [Accessed 15 October 2019].
Map of Veheragoda Stupa Archaeological Site
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Travel Directions to Veheragoda Stupa Archaeological Site
Route from Colombo to Veheragoda Stupa Archaeological Site
Route from Kalutara to Veheragoda Stupa Archaeological Site
|Through : Southern Expressway – Genaligama – Horana – Anguruwathota|
Distance : 65 km
Travel time : 1.45 hours
Driving directions : see on google map
|Through : Neboda|
Distance : 23 km
Travel time : 35 minutes
Driving directions : see on google map