Ruins at Akithamurippu (Thekkama) Paththini Devalaya

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On the road from Medawachchiya to Mannar, about a kilometer before Madu Church Road, there is the road to a British Hanging Bridge over the Malwathu Oya. After traveling about a kilometer on this road, you will see an Amuna (anicut) across the Yodha Ela (Giant Canal) in a beautiful surrounding. This Amuna is called Thekkama Amuna by the locals but this is not the correct Thekkama Amuna. One kilometer above this, King Dhatusena (459-477) built an amuna across Malwathu Oya at Thekkama and diverted the water to Yodha Ela Canal. This is the real Thekkama Amuna.  

In the fifth century, King Dhatusena built a 25-kilometer long canal from Thekkama, about 20 kilometers away from Yodha Wewa reservoir and water from Malwathu Oya was supplied to Yodha Wewa reservoir over this canal. The first 10km of this canal traverse in parallel to Malwathu Oya.

Due to the high speed of the flow in the Yodha Ela canal, the a part of the retainer wall has eroded and water was been diverted back to Malwathu Oya down stream during the British era. A new Amuna was built at this place by the British when it was repaired. 

A small temple has been built by Hindus near this Amuna. The main religious objects here are two statues on two semi-circular slabs sunk into the earth. In one of them there is an image of Lord Ganesh cast in cement, and in the other panel is a half-elevated image of a daitey carved on a stone slab. Although Hindus worship this statue as Goddess Pattini, it is identified that this is a carving of Goddess Parvati. This statue has only the upper body. The arms and lower part of the chest are missing. Patthini’s head is adorned with a jatamakuta and the ears, hands and neck is decorated with ornaments.

This statue of Goddess Parvati, which has been dated to the 11th-12th century AD, is believed to be brought to this country during the Chola period or caved here. Rajaraja Chola and Rajendra Chola ruled the country as Chola invaders between 1017-1070 AD and they were Shiva devotees. It is reported that he built Shiva temples in Mannar and Polonnaruwa. Accordingly, this statue may belong to a temple built according to the South Indian Chola tradition. 

In front of this panel, there is a Siripathula (sacred footprint of Buddha carving) stone belonging to the early Anuradhapura period. This may have been brought here from a another unidentified Buddhist ruined site in the jungles.

Although in dry zone, this area which these ruins lies at cooling and attractive. The Amuna built by the British, the recently built arch bridge over the Yodha Ela below it and the old iron arch bridge nearby adds to its beauty. 

 You can also see  the old hanging bridge over Malwathu Oya when you walk about 250 meters further passing the Yodha Canal.

References

  • අසංග, එම්. වී. පී. කේ. සහ නිශාන්ත, අයි. පී. ඇස්., 2018. මන්නාරම දිස්ත්‍රික්කය – පුරාවිද්‍යා දෙපාර්තමේන්තුව. 1වන සංස්කරණය. කොළඹ: රජයේ මුද්‍රණ දෙපාර්තුමේන්තුව,පිටු .31-35.

Map of Akithamurippu (Thekkama) Paththini Devalaya

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Driving Directions to Akithamurippu (Thekkama) Paththini Devalaya

From Medavachchi to the ancient ruins of Akitamurippu (Tekkama) Pattini Temple.
Via : Mannar Road
Total Distance : 47 Kms
Travel Time : 50 Minutes
Travel Time : Around 30 Minutes
Driving Directions :  View on Google Map

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