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Temple

Magul Maha Viharaya

  Province Eastern
  District Ampara
  Nearest Town Lahugala/Pottuvil
  Period 453 – 474 AD.
  Ruler King Kavan Tissa

Introduction

King Kavantissa then hastened to meet the Princess and married her in keeping with traditional customs, and she became Queen Vihara Maha Devi. “The Magul Poruwa" said to be of the Royal couple could be seen amongst ancient ruins in a temple called "Magul Maha Viharaya" in Lahugala. Princess Devi's canoe had been washed ashore at Arugam Bay.

Magul maha viharaya is located to the south of Sithulpauwa; here the remains of the Buddhist temple can be viewed. It is believed that the temple is located on the spot where king Kavan tissa married Vihara Maha Devi. 'Magul' refers to wedding in Sinhala; the temple was built to celebrate the nuptials of the king. The Magul maha Viharaya is situated within the Yala national park.

History

Magul Maha Viharaya is located in the sub thick forest of Lahugala village, about 20 km from Arugam Bay. It is believed that it was built by King Kavanthissa during 453 - 474 AD. Among items that have been uncovered are the only half moon stone in Sri Lanka that features men, a ’santhi‘ dagoba, rare in Sri Lanka but common to India, the wedding and worship halls that fade into the deep forest. The site was also known as the Ruhunu Maha Vihara in ancient times. Two inscriptions of queen Ruhunu can also be seen.

Two inscriptions of this queen are at the site. In an area girt by a prakara of stone slabs are a Bodhigara, an image house, a stupa and a sabbath house.

Magul Maha Viharaya which is in ruins today. There are rock pillars similar to Lovamaha Prasada in Anura-dhapura. There is ruin of a Dagaba about 30 feet in height. There are three rows of steps leading to the Dagoba on three sides and on the lift side is Bodhighara and also rock inscription protected by an iron railing.