Veheragala Temple

ImageDeep in Mahaoya close to the hot water wells is an ancient monastery of the second century BC, which had been the abode of meditating monks even few decades ago.

 The ruins of the ancient monastery spread across nearly 10 acres and had been savaged at various times in search of treasures and building material.

The two stupas at the bottom of the rock plateau had been ravaged to a pile of rocks consisting rocks and bricks, a characteristic of the stupas built at very early stages. The stupas built during the 3-2 centuries BC were built with a mixture of bricks and rocks as in the case of stupas in Rajagala and Buddhangala while stupas built after second century BC was built mainly out of bricks.

Stone tablets made for offering flowers are also found in site broken and out of place while the stone door frame had been stolen by relic hunters.  Image

Closer to the stupa six stone pillars stands; the only remaining of a building while a moonstone or a sandakadapahana,  the entrance steps, stairway and the Korawakgal  or stone balustrades too linger as memories of an elegant past. 

Inside the building boundaries are stone seats, a stone sink and a replica of the Lord Buddha’s feet, the only remaining monuments within the monastery boundaries.

The drip ledged caves of the monastery had been separated into rooms with brick walls and each cave has an inscription detailing the donation done by local nobles. The three reservoirs found nearby had been the water source for the temple and for irrigation yet they too lay ruined today.

However the temple was given a fresh breath of life when it was converted to a meditating monastery nearly four decades back by a leading meditating master and was the meditation retreat of late Ven. Gangodawila Soma Thera during the early years of his life.  

The monastery was damaged by a hurricane nearly two decades ago and is yet to be revived to life while the new temple built nearly one mile away was built in his memory and serves the village around.

 

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