Budupatuna – Losing Heritage of Wila Oya (විලඔයේ සැඟවුන බුදුපටුන නටබුණ්)

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Wila Oya - Budupatuna Ruins as seen in 1985
Wila Oya – Budupatuna Ruins as seen in 1985
Image from the report of Japanese Archaeologists led my Takashi Okamura in 1985

Budupatuna is an ancient Mahayana Shrine complex, lying deep inside the Kumbukkan Forest Reserve far away from civilization.

The most striking of the ruins is a carving of a Buddha Statue flanked by 2 Bodhisattwa statues similar to the carvings at Buduruwagala at Wellawaya.

Nothing much is recorded about this site other than two Japanese expeditions which reached this site in the late 1900s but the exact location was unknown to the public until a detailed trip report was submitted by Dr. Ashan Geenangage here. The trek to the ruins has been so arduous that some members of the Japanese teams have suffered heat strokes on the trip.

Although forgotten by the authorities, treasure hunters have taken a keen interest in the ruins, digging and breaking up everything which could hide any form of treasures. Deep holes have been dug in the ancient stupa and gaping holes were seen at the foot of the Buddha statues during the 1985 Japanese expedition. All three statues of the Buddha and the 2 Bodhisattwa is seen intact. Photos from the 1992 Japanese expedition show the left Boddhisttwa statue completely destroyed by the treasure hunters and the head of the Buddha statue missing. The most recent report by Dr Geeganage shows gaping pits dug in the stupa of the Budupatuna.

To reach these ruins you need to go along the paddy fields and chenas passing Kotiyagala. At the end of the fields, you will enter into Jungles of Kumbukkan Forest Reserve until you reach the bank of Wila Oya. Wila Oya is mostly dried up most of the year except during heavy rains. From the Wila Oya, you need to walk approx. 8 kilometres on the dried-up river bed to reach the fall.

With blazing heat, its easy to get dehydrated on this journey. Therefore ample amount of water and some ORS.

The whole track is a virgin forest with all the wildlife including elephants. Any person who wishes to make this journey can contact the priest of Wattarama Temple who will be able to set you up with some guides from the area.  Also, see this trip report before planning out this journey.

gradual destruction of the ruins over the years

Also See

Map of Wila Oya Budupatuna

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

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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