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Ruins

Rajagala Buddhist Monastic Complex

  Province Eastern
  District Ampara
  Nearest Town Mahaoya
  Period Unknown
  Ruler King Gothabhava

Introduction

The Rajagala Viharaya has also been blessed by Arahat Mihindu Thera, who brought the precious gift of Buddhism to Sri Lanka. It is believed that Mihindu Thera's body has been buried in this site.A stone inscription found nearby bear’s testimony to this fact, although no excavation or restoration work has been carried out at this site to confirm what's inscribed in the stone inscription. The place consists of more than 500 ruins and artifacts of a Buddhist temple.

Rajagala can be reached on A 27 road (Mahawa – Ampara) at the 24th - 25th Km posts. It is believed that monks must have inhabited this area before the 1st century BC. There are extensive ruins still awaiting excavation and recovery from the thick jungle. Amongst the ruins are two most interesting antiquities- a large and beautifully made stone bowl and a huge block of stone, 16 feet long with a half finished carved Buddha image. There are ruins of buildings everywhere, occupying every level of the hill. There are 585 statues and 48 inscriptions found so far by the Department of Archeology, The extent of this monastic complex is about 1600 acres.p>

History

The Dipavamsa says that Gothabhava, the ruler of Rohana and the grandfather of King Saddhatissa, founded a monastery named Dana Pabbata and this may well refer to what we now known as Rajagala. Other than this there is no mention of either Rajagala or Dana Pabbata in any ancient records. Monks lived at Rajagala for centuries and judging by its numerous and imposing remains it must have been a place of some note. But all that is left of these monks’ lives and their achievements is silence.