Wattarama Rajamaha Viharaya – Siyambalanduwa – සියඹලාන්ඩුව වට්ටාරාම රජමහා විහාරය

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Monoliths which long ago held large buildings at Wattarama Rajamaha Viharaya
Monoliths which long ago held large buildings at Wattarama Rajamaha Viharaya
Image courtesy of Dr. Ashan Geeganage

Wattarama is an isolated rocky outcrop lying in the Siyambalanduwwwa Divisional Secretary’s Division. At the foot of this rocky hillock lies the ancient Wattarama Raja Maha Viharaya believed to be be built by King Kawanthissa (205–161 BC) who Ruled the Magama Kingdom. The hillock is scattered with ruins of a monastery which has flourished thousands of years ago. There are at least six caves with drip ledges indicating that these caves have been used by the meditating monks.

The temple has consisted of a stupa, image house, a Bodhi ghara and residences for the monks. Only the stone columns are now remaining of these buildings. Many of the archeological remains are covered in shrub jungle. The Archeological items which has been found at various places are kept in the temple ground in a makeshift museum.

The land mass between Monaragala and Yala northern border is filled with remote villages who mainly survive on paddy and Chena cultivations. Most of the land is covered in jungles and rock formations of various size an height rise at various locations. At most of these rock formations, you will find remains of ancient Buddhist monasteries providing a glimpse of the past of this area. Most of the ruins are not even reported but a research party headed by Takashi Okamura from Hosei University in Japan had made 2 research visits in 1985 and 1993 and has documented a significant number of hidden ruins in this area.

In addition to the ruins at the currently functioning temple at the foot of the rocky outcrop, the research team has recorded a ruined stupa at the top of the rock. This has been plundered by treasure hunters. The stupa was recorded as 3 meters in height and 5 meters in diameter.

The stupa at the foot of the rock is 21 meters in diameter and about 7 meters in height. I has been cleared of jungle and preserved by the villagers even when the researches made the visit in 1985.

Wattarama Ruins site plan at Kotiyagala
Wattarama Ruins site plan at Kotiyagala
source : Ruins of the Ancient Ruhuna Civilization – In the Jungles of Kumbukkan Oya Basin SRI LANKA.

References

  • Okamura, T., 1999. Ruins of the Ancient Ruhuna Civilization – In the Jungles of Kumbukkan Oya Basin SRI LANKA. Tokyo: Exploration Club of Hosei University.

Also See

Map of Wattarama Rajamaha Viharaya – Siyambalanduwa

ගූගල් සිතියම් පහලින් – Please click on the button below to load the Dynamic Google Map –
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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

Zoom out the map to see more surrounding locations using the mouse scroll wheel or map controls.

Travel Directions to Wattarama Rajamaha Viharaya – Siyambalanduwa

Route from Colombo to Wattarama Rajamaha Viharaya

Route from Monaragala – Siyambalanduwa Road (A4) to Wattarama Rajamaha Viharaya

Though : Horana – Ratnapura – Beragala – Wellawaya – Buttala – Monaragla
distance :290 km
Travel time : 1.45 hours.
Driving directions : see on google map
distance :18 km
Travel time : 30 minutes.
Driving directions : see on google map

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