Things you should know about Lankapatuna.

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Things you should know about Lankapatuna.
Things you should know about Lankapatuna.

Lankapatuna LTTE terrorist camp with an ancient Dagabak built on a rock overlooking the sea in Trincomalee district.  A small Dagabak was built there shortly after the defeat of the LTTE and the temple has recently become a popular place among pilgrims.

Let’s examine the history of LankaPatuna, which is considered to be the place where Prince Danta and Princess Hemamala landed in Sri Lanka with the tooth relic of the Buddha.

Location

LankaPatuna Location- Google Maps

Lanka Patuna Vihara is located in the Uppural Grama Seva Domain of Serunuwara Divisional Secretariat Division in the Eastern Province.  In Tamil, it is called by the name of Ilakkathure.  About three kilometers before Verugal Aara, which is the main branch at the end of Mahaweli Ganga, enters the sea, another branch forms and flows to the north and enters Ullakkaliya Lagoon.

 The beautiful Lankapatuna is located at its entrance.  It is said that there was an ancient port here.  It is also possible to enter the country from this port.  Entering from the port and following the branch of the Werugal Aaruwa, entering the Werugal Aaruwa, and thereby entering the Mahaweli Ganga, it may have been possible to easily reach Mahiangana at that time.

Temple ground

This temple is built on a rocky plot like a high hill bordering the sea.  Located about 300 kilometers away from Colombo, this historic holy site can be reached by public transport, alighting from the Seruwila bus with Areppu junction and reaching Lanka Patuna.  It is said that Dambagasare Sri Sumedhankara Maha Na Thero, who is considered to be the original author of Seruvila Navode, discovered this sacred ground around 1940.

 The temple built later has been given the name Samudriri Viharaya.  Since 1984, this place was under the control of LTTE terrorists, so no one got the opportunity to visit Lankapatuna.  After defeating the tigers, Seruvila Saranakitthi Na Thero built Sanghavasa here and created a suitable environment for the monks to live in, and after that everyone has the opportunity to worship this temple freely.

 History

 The Buddhist renaissance that occurred with the Mahindagamana in the third century BC also affected the eastern province.  The Brahmi inscriptions found in several places like Thiriya, Seruvila, Ichchalanpattu, Nachchiyaramalai, etc. explain that Buddhism was widespread in this place at that time.  Lanka Patuna must certainly have been one of the Buddhist temples among them.

 King Udeni’s son Prince Danta and King Guhasiva’s daughter Princess Hemamala boarded a ship and came to Ceylon to hide the tooth relic.  In 310 AD, King Guhasiva arranged for his daughter and nephew to bring Dalada to Lakdi due to the war situation in Kaligu country.  This incident is mentioned in books like Datta Vamsaya, Dalada Siritha, and Mahavamsaya.  The Mahavamsaya mentions that the two of them landed in Ceylon from Ceylon Patuna, which was a famous shipping port at that time.

The Mahavamsa mentions that they boarded a ship from Tamralipta and started their journey toward Lakdi. They suffered immense suffering due to the storm they encountered in the sea and after seeing the amazing movement of the Buddha, they escaped all dangers and landed in Pattana, Sri Lanka.  At that time there was a temple on the rock of Lanka Patuna.  After asking a certain monk there, he took the tooth and came to Meghagiri temple near Anurapura and then went to Anuradhapura capital city.  King Sirimeghavarna, son of King Mahasen, was the king of Ceylon at that time.

 It is clear from the old ruins that the Lanka Patune temple became a Buddhist temple in later times.  However, no formal archeological exploration has been carried out in this place so far.

 Evidence of an old port has also not been found.  But the destroyed ruins testify to the existence of an ancient temple.  The ruins are spread over an area of ​​about 20 acres.

 Dagaba

 Only a pesa remains of the ancient Dagaba on the rock.  The remaining parts have been destroyed by treasure thieves.  The mortar with parts of plaster used for the plaster of Pesa is still very well preserved.  Dagabe’s womb has been destroyed by treasure thieves and three chambers have been found in the brick womb bowl after excavation.  All remaining chambers have been destroyed.  It has been speculated that there may have been nine chambers here like other Daghabs.

 It is clear that the construction technique belonging to the Anuradhapura period was used for plastering the ancient Dagabe Pesa.  After the archeological excavation, only the lower part of Dagabe has been preserved.  By climbing the steps, the devotees can reach the rock where the Dagaba is located.  A beautiful view of the sea can also be seen on Pawwa Mata.  Seruvila Dagaba is also visible from the land side of this place.

 The small pagoda on the arches built recently at the site of the old Dagaba on the top of the rock does not seem to match the antiquity here.  A recently built statue house and a standing Buddha statue are also located near the courtyard.

Drip caves

 Below the rock where Dagaba is located, you can see a drip-drenched cave that seems to have housed meditating monks.  The cave is about four feet wide and about 20 feet deep.

 A pond built for the use of the monks who worked in the temple is located at the foot of the rock.  The pond is 188 feet long and 76 feet wide.  An outlet and a wall connected to it have been built to drain the water of the pond near the sea.  The banks of the ponds have been strengthened by comb embankments.

Ellawala Medhananda Nahimian, who visited this temple some time ago, has mentioned as follows:

 The highest point here is a mound of bricks.  It was about 70 feet in circumference and about 8 feet in height.  Its bricks are scattered everywhere as the mound has been dug up and robbed of its treasures.  Also, stones, tiles, and bricks are found everywhere in the collapsed buildings and hills.  King Kavantissa established many Buddhist monasteries around Seruvila Mangala.  The earlier kings were especially concerned with establishing monasteries on the rocks near the harbors.  Valve Muvadora Godapavata Vihara, Kirindioya Muvadora Vihara, Hadaoya Muvadora Maninaga Pabbata Vihara, Gokanna Vihara in Trincomalee, Pothuwila Sea Mahavihara, Picchamal Vihara in Kuchchweli, Tiriyaya Vihara around Galvaraya, Dambakolapatuna Vihara, Mannar Vihara, Magana Vihara are seen from nearby ports.  becomes clear.

 There is no doubt that the stupas in these places were also visible to the seafarers.  Thus King Kavantissa AD.  B.C.  In the 2nd century, a stupa was built on this hill near Lankapatuna harbor and a Buddhist monastery was built.  One of his religious works was the construction of the Samudragiri temple.  Lankapatuna Viharaya is known as Samudragiri Viharaya.  This name is perfect for this place.  The bricks here belong to a very old age.  From near the ruins of Lankapatune to the west, there is a series of caves surrounded by many rocks.  Cave inscriptions have been carved in these caves.  These letters indicate that the caves were offered to the monks.  These inscriptions date back to BC.  Belongs to the 2nd century. 

Lanka Patuna Location On Google Map

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