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Temple

Attanagalla Raja Maha Viharaya

  Province Western
  District Gampaha
  Nearest Town Attanagalla
  Period 249-262 A.D.
  Ruler King Gothabhaya

Introduction

Attanagalla Rajamaha Viharaya is one of the most famous ancient royal temples in Sri Lanka. Attanagalla Royal temples is the primary one among its nine subordinate temples and is situated in Western Province, Sri Lanka, 28 miles northeast of Colombo, the capital city of Sri Lanka.

History

It is unique because it is the only ancient temple historically recognized as the place where a Bodhisattva (a future Buddha) fulfilled his Dana Paramita (one of the ten perfections to be completed by a Bodhisattva to become a Buddha, an Awakened One). He sacrificed his life by giving his head in gratitude for a favor he received from a poor and ordinary countryman.

Known by the name of King Sri Sangabo (247-249 A.D.) he was recognized in the chronicles and other ancient literature of Sri Lanka as the most pious Buddhist king in Sri Lankan history. After King Sri Sangabo, his brother Gothabhaya (249-262 A.D.) became the king of the country and built a Stupa (Pagoda) at the place where his brother, Bodhisattva Sri Sangabo, made the great sacrifice fulfilling a parami. According to the Attanagall Vihara Chronicle, during the reign of King Upatissa (365-406 A.D.), one of the monks, having practiced meditation, attained Arahanthship (enlightenment) at this temple. King Upatissa was very pleased to hear this and built a five-story monastery, which he offered to the Maha Sangaha.

Popular belief is this has been the location where king Siri Sangabo (251-253 AD) lived after handing over the the kingdom to his brother Gotabaya. But now the Archeologists believe that the location is probably the Hatthikucchi Vihara Complex also known as Rajangana Ruins which is located about 40 kilometres away from Anuradhapura. -.