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Temple

Digavapiya

  Province Eastern
  District Ampara
  Nearest Town Ampara
  Period 137-119 BC
  Ruler King Saddhatissa

Introduction

The cetiya constructed by King Saddha Tissa In 137 BC.at the site where Lord Buddha spent sometime with.Arhants absorbed in ecstatic meditation,during: His final visit. Enshrined are the relics of Lord Buddha.

Digavapiya is one of the 16 places which have been blessed by the Buddha's presence. Buddha was invited to Kelaniya by Mani Akkita of Naga Tribe, ruler of the Kelaniya region on his second visit to Nagadeepa. On the 8th year of attaining nirvana Buddha decided to visit Sri Lanka for the third time especially to Kelaniya. During this visit he came to Digavapi with 500 arhaths and spends time meditating.

History

According to the the Mahavansa, great chronicle of Sri Lanka, this stupa was built by king Saddhatissa (137-119 BC). According to the same the king has also donated a jacket decorated with gold lotus flowers and various gems to cover the stupa. Since this location has been blessed by Buddha's presence, it is generally believed that this stupa is a "paribogika" stupa and no special relic has been enshrined. But historian venerable Ellawela Medananda thero believes that this stupa enshrines a nail relic of Buddha. An inscription on a gold foil unearthed during excavations discloses that King Kawanthissa (164-192) has done renovations to the stupa.

In 1886 the Batticalore governor instructed the government works department to dig this stupa and and this uncontrolled digging has brought a grave destruction to the stupa later on. In 1916 a priest called Kohukumbure Revatha started developing this temple area but in 1950 he was brutally murdered by a Muslim in the area.