Ruins of Ancient Waddamana Parwatha Viharaya – Nedunkeni Archaeology Site (වවුනියාව වඩ්ඩමාන පර්වත විහාරය – නෙදුන්කේනි පුරාවිද්‍යා භූමිය)

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The northern part of Sri Lanka was inaccessible to the Sri Lankans for over 30 years due to the LTTE terrorists controlling most of this area. After the defeat of the LTTE in 2009, this area has seen a massive development in the infrastructure and facilities enabling any Sri Lankan to travel and visit any area.

Along with this freedom to access these forbidden jungles, ruins of hundreds of ancient Buddhist sites hidden in the jungles of Mullaitivu District, Vavuniya District, Mannar District and  Kilinochchi District have been discovered by the Army. Due to 30+ years of ethnic cleansing of Tamil Tiger Terrorists supported by Tamil politicians, Buddhist villages which supported a few monks in some of these temples also have disappeared.

One such disputed temple complex lies in the middle of the jungles off Nedunkeni in Vavunyia. This ancient aramic complex lies surrounding a rocky outcrop rising to about 300 feet from the ground. Considering the number of smaller abandoned reservoirs in the surrounding area, a thriving Buddhist community has been living in this area supporting this temple complex from 1-3rd century BC.

Ven. Ellawala Medhananda Thero, this temple complex has been identified as Vadikkinarimale or Vaddhamanapabbata Viharaya. According to scholars, Vadikkinarimale is the earlier Vaddhamanapabbata and it was the area of Naga’s who lived on the rocky places.

Ruins of 2 stupas can be found at the top of the rock. Ellawala thero records one stupa being 46 feet in circumference and 11 feet in height during 1964 and 1973 visits. The other has been 21 feet in circumference and 6 feet in height. Both have been destroyed by treasure hunters. Unfortunately, the bricks of these two structures have been all removed and stacked at a different location by the Hindus who are now fighting to turn this ground into a Hindu Kovil.

Quoting The Sinhala Buddhist Heritage in the East and the North of Shri Lanka by Ven. Ellawala Medhananda Thera,

“A Foot Print stone largely weather-worn lies close by. To my understanding, there must be another seven of the same size and level. On my second visit, I realized that this one also was missing. Many foundations of ancient buildings are seen around. They can be images of Houses and dwellings of priests. I found a piece of a statue in which the folds of the robe is seen.

A few caves with drip ledges are found on the hill site. Remains of separating walls, patches of plaster and paint too are seen. Three inscriptions are on three cave brows They belong to the 2″d century BCE and they read:

[1] Maha shamuda puta gutasha lene shagasha parumaka bamadata puta maha gutaha lene.
(The cave of Guta son of Maha Samuda (given) to  Sangha.  The cave of Mahaguta son of chief Bamadata) 

[2] Bata cuditishaha lene
(the cave of veneralble Cuditisha)

[3] Parumaka pushamita putasha maha lene agata anagata katudisha 
(The great cave of the son of Chief Pusharmita donated to Sangha who have come and not come.) 

The devotees who are mentioned in these Inscriptions – Maha Shamuda. Guta. Bamadata. Cuditisha and Pushamita in the name were Arya Sinhala Buddhists in the area of Mulativu in the 2nd century BCE,  No Tamil name is mentioned in any of these. Bamadata (Brahmadatta) is a typical Buddhist name. The presentation Mahamata Bamadata  (chief minister Brahmadata) In an Inscription at Ritigala comes to our mind at this instance The Buddhists who lived in these Northern areas who were ardent followers of Buddhism constructed viharas and monasteries of various types for the cause of religion”

Today most of the buildings and parts of statues have been made to disappear by various non-Buddhist elements trying to erase the Sinhala civilization in the North and East. A Shiva linga has been kept on the top of the rock and a massive protest was held in August 2018 in front of the Nedunkeni PS office requesting them to build a Hindu Kovil on the archaeological site.


  1. Ellāvala Medhānanda, 2005. The Sinhala Buddhist heritage in the East and the North of Shri [i.e. Sri] Lanka. 1st ed. Colombo: Dayawansa Jayakody & Co.

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Map of  Ruins of Ancient Waddamana Parwatha Viharaya – Nedunkeni Archaeology Site

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Traveling Directions to Ruins of Ancient Waddamana Parwatha Viharaya – Nedunkeni Archaeology Site

Route from Vavuniya to Ruins of Ancient Waddamana Parwatha Viharaya – Nedunkeni Archaeology Site
Through : Omanthe – Puliyankulam – Nedunkeni
Time to spend – 1-2  hours
Distance : 53  km
Travel time : 1.15 hours + hike
Driving directions : see on Google map


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