Veheragala (Weheragala) is a rocky outcrop in the village known as Unuwathurabubula in Mahaoya. The village is so named due to the famous hot water spring known as the “Mahaoya Hot Water Wells“. The ancient ruins found at this rock has been placed on to the 2nd century BC. The site lies about 4 kilometers on the Maduruoya Road from Mahaoya town.
Ravaged by the jungle and then by the treasure hunters, the site was revived about 40-50 years ago as a forest monastery by few meditating monks. The ruins of the ancient site spreads over 10 acres and at the bottom of the rock you will find two stupas made in to pile of rubble by the treasure hunters. Based on the material used to built these temples, they have been placed to 2-3 centuries.
Close to the stupa, six stone pillar stands of flower alters can be found. Broken flat stone flower alters, few moonstones and balustrades (Korawak Gal) can be also found scattered around the site. This Aranya came in to light after it was made to known that Rev Gangodawila Soma Thero had been meditating at this site during his early years.
The ancient drip ledge caves have been divided in to separate “Kuti’. Each cave is inscribed with the donor of the cave to maha sanga. Nine cave inscriptions and one rock inscription has been discovered at this site. Other than one cave inscription all others are in readable condition. These inscriptions have been dated to various periods between 3rd century BC to 4th century.
The unpublished rock inscription at the site is uniquely interesting. There are only 2 inscriptions referring to a Paccekabuddha (pase-budu) so far discovered in the country. One has been in Aggala Rock Inscription in Kurunegala which has been destroyed. The second and the only existing rock inscription is at this Veheragala Aranya Senasanaya. This inscription is carved in a single line and states “The stupa of the 10th Paccekabuddha is donated by the Pagiya female devotee“. The above mentioned stupa may be one of the two ruined stupa’s found at the site.
The ruins and the drip ledge caves in Veheragala were declared as a protected archaeological site by the Government with the Gazette issued on 10th October 2014, and describes the location as follows ;
Above text point to a GPS location far a way from the marker shown on the map. This is probably an oversight and the marker has been moved to the correct point.
Map of Unuwathurabubula Veheragala Aranya Senasanaya
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
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Travel Directions to Unuwathurabubula Veheragala Aranya Senasanaya
Route from Mahaoya to Unuwathurabubula Veheragala Aranya Senasanaya
|Through : Mahaoya – Padiyathalawa Road
Distance :5 km
Travel time : 15 mins
Time to spent : 30-60 mins
Driving directions : see on google map