Yudaganawa Temple is located close to Buttala on the Wellawaya– Buttala Road. This is one of the largest Stupas in the country and dates back to the 2nd century BC. This is thought to be the place Prince Tissa and his brother prince Gamini (Later The great King Dutugemunu) had a major battle after the death of his father King Kavanthissa (2nd century BC)
The Rajavaliya describes this battle
“…. Prince Gemunu coming to know that his father has died, left Kothmale and arriving at the city of Magama, sent word to prince Tissa requesting him to dispatch the mother and the tusker, who was born on the same day. But prince Tissa did not heed that request. Letters were sent 3 times and when there was no response prince Gemunu setout to fight, taking with him his men. The two brothers met each others at Yudaganapitiya. Thirty thousand soldiers of prince Gemunu fell in the battlefield and and taking defeat he started to flee. When Prince Tissa was chasing after his brother, the maha sanga came and blocked his way, and noticed that prince Tissa returned to Digamadulla. ………..”
This colossal stupa with a circumference of 317 meters (1038 feet) was initially thought to be a Kota Vehera. A large stupa was built halfway and a smaller stupa was built on top of that. There are 4 such stupas around the country with minor differences.
- Dadigama Kota Vehera
- Deliwala Kota Vehera at Rambukkana
- Damila Maha Seya at Polonnaruwa
- Lahugala Kota Vehera
According to Dr. W.H. Wijepala, Director-General of Archaeology, the recent excavations have proved that this was not a Kota Vehera but a complete stupa at one time. This stupa is also known as “Kinkini Stupa” among the locals.
After thousands of years of negligence, the stupa is now under restoration. You can still see massive trees on the upper platform of the stupa which has not been uprooted yet. Also walking around the stupa you can see the platform of the stupa has been cleared after excavating about 3 feet.
Just before the Yudaganawa car park, you will pass a small stupa on the roadside. This is identified as the “Chulangani Viharaya” belonging to the 12th century. But the Buddha statues inside the image house (see photos) have been dated to the 6-7th centuries.
Map of Yudaganawa and Chulangani Viharaya
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 Yudaganawa and Chulangani Viharaya
You can reach the site from either Wellawaya or Kataragama depending on which route you take.
You can reach Wellawaya in through many roads. If you are coming from Badulla or Bandarawela you must take the Ella Road which lies between Badulla-Bandarawela Road. On the way, you will also pass the beautiful Ravana Ella (Ravana Waterfall) too on the way. There is another road from Koslanda. Taking this road will take you through the 220 metre high waterfall “Diyaluma”. Koslanda lies between the Balangoda – Haputhale Road. The distance from Wellawaya to the turn-off to Yudhaganawa is approx. 16km.
If you are coming from Kataragama, use the Buttala Road and from Buttala town turn to Wellawaya Road. Travel approx 1.2 km from the Butala junction on the Wellawaya Road. There is a large board at the turn-off to the temple. Turn right to this by road and travel another 2 km to the temple. This by-lane is a tar road and you have to walk about 100 meters from to new temple to this archeological site. On this route, you will be also passing places such as Maligavila Statues and Dematamal Viharaya.
|Route from Colombo to Yudaganawa Viharaya
|Route from Kataragama to Yudaganawa Viharaya
|Through : Kaduwela – Avissawella – Ratnapura – Beragala – Wellawaya
Distance : 230 km
Travel time : 6 hours
Driving directions : see on google map
|Through : Buttala
Distance : 50 km
Travel time : 45 minutes
Driving directions : see on google map