Uda Tambana Dewagiri Raja Maha Viharaya (උඩ තඹාන දේවගිරි රජමහා විහාරය)

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Uda Tambana Dewagiri Raja Maha Viharaya
Source : http://www.evillage.lk/magandana

Uda Tambana lies between Bibile and Monaragala, about 28 km from Monaragala and 33 Km from Bibile. It is believed that this temple goes back to the period of King Devanampiyatissa (250-210 BC).

According to the folklore, When the Mahinda Thero brought Buddism to the Island, a local called Thambara Gamarala went to see King Devanampiyatissa in Anuradhapura and requested to send a priest to the village. The King assigned the village to a priest called Anuradhapura Rewatha who was residing in Thantirimale and the Thero travelled to the village with the Thambara Gamarala. The Gamarala built this temple for the priest and it is said that the priest attained arhath hood in 3 months.

This temple has also been called Thamba Wanaya Diwagiri in the Uwa Viharawamsaya and during the reign of King Devanampiyatissa (250-210 BC), it was called Uda Thambana Sri Saman Devagiri Viharaya.

The Stupa of the temple is located above the temple and can be reached by climbing a few steps. Unfortunately, this stupa has not been able to escape from the treasure hunters and the top of the stupa is no more.

On the platform on which the stupa is built, there are large oil lamps made from stone and 4 stone flower pedestals. a set of steps on the west of the stupa takes you to the Bo Maluwa. Close to the Bo tree, there is an ancient Iron Wood Tree ( නා ගස) which is thought to be over 1000 years old. Close to these are the remains of a Tampita Viharaya ( a temple on pillars) which is believed to have been built by Queen Suglalwathi of Ruhuna (12 Century).

There are 3 symbols carved on the rock on which the stupa lies. They are the Foot Print of a lion (සිංහ අඩිය), foot print of Buddha(ශ්‍රි පතුල් සටහන) and the Bahirawa (නාග බහිරව රූප). Some researchers believe that the Lions Footprint is actually the Lion Symbol of the Uva regional King Kumarasinghe (1631-34). He is the son of King Wimaladharmasuriya I (1592 – 1604) of the Kandyan Kingdom. King Kumarasinghe had to flee to Goa and live as a Christian with the onslaught of the Mayadunne of Seethawaka Kingdom. Two of his daughters became queens of Mayadunne.

Folklore also tells of a treasure hidden inside a cave in the Devagiri Viharaya. It is said that during the time of Mayadunne’s onslaught, the priest who was at the temple collected all the valuables of the temple hid it inside a cave, and disrobed himself for the fear of Mayadunne.

Also See

Map of Devagiri Raja Maha Vihara

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Travel Directions to Uda Thambana Devagiri Viharaya

Busses travel from Monaragala to Thambana. Get down from Gamgodalanda junction and walk about 1/2 km towards Uda Dambana

Route to Uda Thambana from Colombo Route to Uda Thambana from Monaragala
Through : Awissawella – Ratnapura – Balangoda – Beragala – Wellawaya – Buttala – Monaragala
Distance :270 km
Travel time : 6 hours
Driving directions : see on google map
Distance : 20 km
Travel time : 20 mins
Driving directions : see on google map

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