Two-storeyed A’pura Period image house found in South


by Lalith Chaminda and SK Kaluarachchi

Archaeologists carrying out excavations at the historical Naigala Raja Maha Vihara site in Weerakeitya, have found the ruins of a two-storeyed image house belonging to the Anuradhapura period.

The excavators of the Department of Archaeology said that they had found remnants of foundations with mould decorations prevalent in the Anuradhapura Period. Naigala Raja Maha Vihara was one of the rare sites in Ruhuna with Panchayathana features and seven Stupas and stone pillars, they said.

Archaeology Department officials said that according to folklore the temple had been built by Kings Gotabhaya and Mahananga.

"Naigala Raja Maha Viharaya has been built according to the Pabbata Vihara system and we have found tiles and bricks used for the construction of these buildings including a two-storeyed image house," Assistant Archaeological Research Officer Buddhika Nagodawithana said.

According to Nagodawithana, epigraphical evidence in the inscriptions on several stone pillars in the temple reveals that the then popular Ariyawansa Desanaa (sermons) were conducted there and it may have served as the centre from which the particular sermon spread to other areas.

Nagodawithana said that the excavations at the site were being conducted under the instructions and supervision of the Director General of Archaeology Dr. Senerath Dissanayake, Director Excavations Dr. Nimal Perera and Archaeological Commissioner Southern Province Wasanthi Alahakoon.

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