Monaragala Veheradivulana Archaeological Site – මොණරාගල වෙහෙරදිවුලාන නටබුන්

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Steps cut in to the rock leading to the ruined stupas at the top at the Monaragala Veheradivulana Archaeological Site
Steps cut in to the rock leading to the ruined stupas at the top at the Monaragala Veheradivulana Archaeological Site
photo by Thilanka Gunarathna

Veheradivulana ( also spelled Veheradiulana, Weheradivulana and also called Divulenagoda )  is an remote archaeological site bordering Yala National Park which has been left to the mercy of treasure hunters like many other such site in the area.

This is a rocky outcrop lying on the banks of Kumbukkan Oya in close proximity to zone 3 of Yala National park which can be accessible through Kotiyagala.

According to local tradition, the banks of Kumbukkan Oya have been densely populated thousands of years ago when the sub kingdom of Ruhuna flourished.  Veheragala monastery, the Wattarama temple in Kotiyagala, and Thalaguruvehera in Zone 3 of the Yala National Park had been the abode of thousands of Buddhist monks in the ancient times.

A renowned historian Raj Somadeva had mentioned that the Veheradivulana was undoubtedly one of the most ancient temples in the country, but the authorities are yet to carry out research on its archaeological importance and its place in the Buddhist history of Sri Lanka.

Archaeological remains of three stupas, caves with drip ledges, rock pillars and the ruins of several other ancient buildings have been discovered at the site. Deep rock cut steps along the rocks leads to caves and destroyed stupas.  Due to its remote location and negligence of the authorities, this site have been ravaged by treasure hunters for centuries without hindrance. Most artifacts had been broken in to pieces, caves and rock blasted with explosives looking for elusive treasures. According to a elder of the Kotiyagala village, a six feet marble Buddha statue now lies in fragments among the ruins.

Parts of a old brick walls can be seen on one cave which might have been a living quarter of a meditating monk or perhaps a image house. A strange  life size crude statue of a human dressed in yellow is seen inside this cave possible brought here by a villager.

One of the unique features of this site is the rock on the eastern side of the monastery is a tall rock resembling a  chimney.

The site lies 30 km from the Kotiyagala village and 3 km from the popular Kebiliththa Devalaya. You will need the service of a local guide and a 4 wheel vehicle or a tractor to take  you through the jungle to the Veheradivulana Ruins.

Monaragala Veheradivulana Archaeological Site
Monaragala Veheradivulana Archaeological Site
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Map of Monaragala Veheradivulana Archaeological Site

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