Thammennakanda Purana Viharaya and Archaeology Site – තම්මැන්නාකන්ද පුරාණ විහාරය හා පුරාවිද්‍යා භූමිය

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Stupa in its original form after restoration at the Thammennakanda Purana Viharaya and Archaeological Site

Stupa in its original form after restoration at the Thammennakanda Purana Viharaya and Archaeological Site
photo source : https://www.facebook.com/Architectural-Conservation-Department-of-Archaeology-440208186130205/

Thammennakanda Purana Viharaya is an ancient temple lying in the remote picturesque village of Hettikattiya in the Kahatagasdigiliya Pradeshiya Sabha division in Anuradhapura. The most unique feature of this archaeological site is the ancient stupa which has been placed between the 1st century BC to the 2nd century. It has been built in the early model of stupa and had not been renovated by later kings altering its original form. When this stupa was discovered it has been dilapidated and excavated by treasure hunters.

However the Yupa Gala (granite shaft at the center of the stupa) and the Gal Chathraya ( circular granite plate) were fallen but in tact fortunately. The department of archaeology has managed to reconstruct the stupa in its original design which is similar to  the Sanchi Stupa design. Professor Mahinda Somathilake of Peradeniya University place the transition of the stupa from Yupa and Chathra design to the Hathas Kotuwa / Devatha Kotuwa / Koth Kerella design between 7th and 11th century in the book “Boudha Stupayehi Prabawaya saha Vikashaya” (බෞද්ධ ස්තූපයෙහි ප්‍රභවය සහ විකාශය). in may 2013, the conservation team discovered a stone relic casket buried in the stupa which has evaded the treasure hunters. It was about 2 feet in hight and was made in 2 parts which could be opened. Inside this casket, the team found a small Samadhi Buddha statue measuring about 6.5cm in height. The relic casket was re enshrined in the stupa.

The stone casket and the Buddha statue within the casket discovered during the excavation of the Thammennakanda Purana Viharaya ancient stupa mound.

The stone casket and the Buddha statue within the casket discovered during the excavation of the Thammennakanda Purana Viharaya ancient stupa mound.

Also during the excavation of the stupa, two slab inscriptions has been discovered. These inscriptions notes the names of kings Kanishkatissa and Mahanaga. King Kanishkatissa has carried out renovations of this stupa as per one inscription.

This magnificiant stupa has been part of a ancient aramic complex which had survived for centuries since its inception. There are large number of ruins scattered around this area including pillar inscriptions, rock inscriptions, dripledged caves and remains of ancient buildings.

It was reported that in 2014, a monk has forcefully occupied this archaeological site citing political connections to build a temple. The current temple might be the outcome of this.

Stupa in its original form after restoration at the Thammennakanda Purana Viharaya and Archaeological Site

Stupa in its original form after restoration at the Thammennakanda Purana Viharaya and Archaeological Site
photo source : https://www.facebook.com/Architectural-Conservation-Department-of-Archaeology-440208186130205/

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Map of Thammennakanda Purana Viharaya and Archaeology Site


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Travel Directions to Thammennakanda Purana Viharaya and Archaeology Site

Route from Anuradhapura to Thammennakanda Purana Viharaya and Archaeology Site

Distance :  35 km
Travel time : 1 hour
Time to spend : 30 mins – 1 hour
Driving directions : see on google map
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