Muthiyangana Raja Maha Viharaya
History of this site starts with the Lord Buddha’s 3rd arrival to the island but legends on the area called Badulla begins from 19th – 18th century BC. Some names of places in the e.g. Seetha Eliya,area, Seetha Kotuwa, Ravana Ella, etc., refers to the Seetha and Ravana – the main characters in the Indian episode titled Ramayana. So it is believed that said war had taken place in this locale, where was the capital of then powerful king named Ravana who ruled the island.
Buddhists believe that this site has been visited by Gautama Buddha, and it is regarded as one of the Solosmasthana, the 16 sacred places in the country. On the 8th year after attaining the Enlightenment, the Lord Buddha made His 3rd visit to Kelaniya on the invitation by a king of Naga people named Maniakkitha. During this visit, a local chieftain named Indaka invited Lord Buddha to visit his place in Badulla. At the end of sermons made by Lord Buddha there, Indaka had wanted something to worship in memory of Lord Buddha’s visit. The Lord Buddha is said to have given him a few of His hairs and a few drops of sweat that turned into pearls . Indaka had enshrined these secred hair and pearls in a stupa, believed to be the stupa here.
Indaka, the chieftain of then Deva people is now regarded as a deity, reigning the Namunukula mauntain range and Muthiyangana Raja Maha Viharaya King Devanampiya Tissa (307 – 266 BC) further developed the original stupa and turned the site into a temple complex. Thereafter King Jettha Tissa I (266 – 276 AD), KingDhatusena (459-477 AD), King Vijayabahu I (1055–1110 AD) and King Parakramabahu I (1153–1186 AD) have renovated the stupa.
The site consists of (a) Thorana (b) Makara thorana (c) Main image house (d) Center image house (e) Sath sathi viharaya (f) Statue of deity Indaka (g) Statue of Maithri bodhisathva (h) Stupa and (i) Bo trees (Bodhi). This thorana (pandol) is at the entrance to the temple. It has six levels and Makara (dragon) is visible on the second level
Makara thorana has been built at the entrance to the main image house Image houses are two image houses – main and center. Ancient appearance of these two buildings has been vanished due to refurbishment in 1960’s and 1970’s.
The stupa present stupa was constructed with the height of 65 feet (19.8 m) and diameter of 270 feet (82.3 m) on the ruins on ancient one in 1956.
Bo trees are four Bo trees (Bodhi) remaining in the temple. One is named after Maliyadeva Thera, a disciple believed to be the last one who had attained the state of Arhant in Sri Lanka. Another Bo tree is called Ananda bodiya as it had been brought from Jetavana monestey in Sravasti in India wherein a Bo tree with the same name still remains. AnotherBo tree which remains in this site has been considered as it originated from Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi and planted by King Devanampiya Tissa.
The Bogoda wooden bridge was built in the 16th century during the Dambadeniya era. This is said to be the oldest surviving wooden bridge in the world The Bridge is situated at 13 km south of Badulla city, Sri Lanka. All parts of this bridge were constructed from wood, including the use of wooden nails as fixing material. The roof tiles show the influence of Kingdom of Kandy. The bridge was built across the Gallanda Oya, which linked Badulla and Kandy on an ancient route.
The Bogoda Bridge is over 400 years old and made entirely from wooden planks, which are said to have come from one tree. It is an exclusive construction as it has an 8 foot tall tiled roof structure for its entire span of nearly 50 foot length with a 6 foot breadth. Wooden fences of the bridge are decorated in various ancient designs and have been erected on either sides. The structure of the bridge is standing on a huge tree trunk 35 ft in height. Jack fruit logs and Kumbuk logs were mainly used as the constructive material of the bridge. Furthermore, Kaluwara timber and Milla timber were used for the wooden decorations.
The Bogoda Buddhist temple is an ancient temple situated beside the Bogoda Wooden Bridge. The temple has a much longer history than the bridge. It is from the 1st century BC, during the period of the Anuradhapura era. The temple was built per the instructions of KingValagamba. The stone inscription by the temple, in Brahmin scripture, says the temple was donated to a priest called Brahmadatta by Tissa, a provincial leader in Badulla.
Inside of the temple were elaborate lovely paintings, bearing resemblance to the Kandyan era. The walls were built with a paste made ofcotton wool, bee honey and extracted and purified white clay. The paintings were painted on this walls.
Dhowa Rock Temple
Dhowa rock Temple is one of the heritage sites in Sri Lanka, situated in central mountain of Uva province. Dhowa is small ancient village which is situated on Badulla, Bandarawela main road. This Temple is situated 210 km east of Colombo and 120 km south of Kandy. The Dowa rock temple could be considered as a Mahayana Sculpture with a huge unfinished Buddha image carved into the rock face. The temple dates back to Before Christtimes. It has been built safely inside a ring of mountains. A beautiful river is flown across the plateau. Hence, the area had earned the name, Dowa.
It is believed, the temple bears a history dating back to about 2,000 years. In the olden days the Dowa Temple was known as the Kumbaltissa Ariyagala Vehera. It had been named after its Chief Priest who had served as a sanctuary for King Walagamba and thus he turned the cave into a temple.
The work of the temple had not been completed during the reign of King Walagamba. But the work had been fully completed during the Kandyan Kingdom.
The 38 ft rock carved Buddha statue and the ornamental gateway are the main attractions of the temple. The statue is in the state of ruins due to fasy decaying.
Folk tales hold that the half finished Buddha statue was carved by king Walagamba himself while hiding in this caves due to foreign invasions. The king is said to have left the area before he could finish carving the statue; thus leaving it half finished.
The paintings of the shrine room had been decorated with the influence of the Kandyan era. These paintings depict various Jathaka stories. The canopy of the rock is decked with paintings of lotus and various other flowers. And also among these paintings the Ath-Gon Satana (battle between a tusker and a bull) is featured. The priority had been given to the cobra image in the structure of the temple. The cobra had been featured in the paintings as well as on the jug used for serving water to Buddha.
The Buddha statue is carved into the rock cliff side and is said to be 2,100 years old. It is possible o approach very close for photos. Do not miss the small but interesting temple located on the lower level just above the river. The temple contains many hand painted images and staues that are said to be about 400 years old
The tranquil and silende we found by the stone carved Buddha was amazing. The Stone carvings were quite excellent too. The drive up to the temple was worth the Tour as well.
St. Mark’s Church
St. Mark’s church is positioned in the capital City of Badulla, Uva Province. Most of the tourists visit St. Mark’s Methodist Church to worship as well as to entertain. It is being visited by locals and other tourists without considering their religion.
It was built by the British government and unveiled by Rev. James Chapmen in 25th of April 1857. Rev. James Chapmen was the 1st Bishop of Colombo. In addition to the Colonial period British developed the Badulla consummating with horse ridings, golf grounds and tennis courts. Britains appreciated up country cities as they could experience a loving climate and environment in their holidays.
St. Mark’s church was built in memory of Major Thomas William Rodgers who was an Assistant Government Agent of Uva Province. Major Rodgers, so called as “bull dog” by Sinhalese had died from a lightning strike when he was at his rest house in Haputale in 1845. At the time the whole area was covered with a storm, Sir Rodgers stepped into the varandha and had a chat with his associate Mrs. Buller “What a thundering typhoons. It’s all over now”? And it was his last proclaim, suddenly a lightening was appeared and he had to face a tragic death of a strike.
Referring to the folk tales, people say that, even his grave was attacked 7 times with lightning strikes. It is evident that there is crack in his sepulcher in Nuwara Eliya cemetery. Looming over the legend conveys that Sir Rodgers had complete annihilation of 60 tuskers and filled his rest house with ivory. It made him proud and happy get entertained himself. This massacre holds the reins to decrease the population of the tuskers in Sri Lanka. He was a skilled elephant hunter and a killer. It is believed that the monks and people cursed him due to his hazardous habit of killing animals. By the way he was a great engineer in constructing roads under the British government. In spite of his great contribution to the Sri Lankan road sector through building most of the road ways in Uva Province, Sri Lanka. Not only that but also he had constructed several rest houses too. St. Mark’s church is identified as an oldest building in Badulla city made of Stones and wooden works, thus it has been well maintained by the authorities.