The burial site of King Vijaya?
Posted on October 29th, 2017

 By Kamanthi Wickramasinghe Courtesy The Daily Mirror

The ancestry of Sinhalese people dates back to the landing of Prince Vijaya in the then Lanka. Prince Vijaya, is the first recorded King of Sri Lanka, who established the Thambapanni Kingdom in the name of the Sinhala people. He subsequently founded the Kingdom of Upatissa Nuwara and Anuradhapura.

As a country with a rich history dating back to his time, various archaeological sites bear testimony to the wars that have been fought in the name of the Sinhalese people. Although the whereabouts of Prince Vijaya are still uncertain, people strongly believe in myths of his burial site.
Last week’s news about an abandoned burial site in Hettipola, thought to be of Prince Vijaya, comes in this backdrop.  The burial site is located a few metres away from the Nikasala Aranyaya (Monastery) found along the Panduwasnuwara-Narammala Road.
According to our area correspondent, Pushpa Weerasekara, the burial site is situated at the centre of the Medagama Hill. It is believed that the structure of this site is similar to that of a pyramid or it looks as if two pagodas have been built, one on top of the other.
The pagoda at the upper level could be reached via a flight of stairs completed in rock. Yet, with the site being neglected and overgrown, it is difficult for one to climb to its summit. Certain bricks also have carvings of dates, believed to be at the time when the construction took place.
Another important feature of this site is that the monastery and the adjoining land comprise various medicinal plants used for various purposes.


Overgrown path (Above) and the stone steps

“The monastery and the adjoining land comprise various medicinal plants used for various purposes.”

The site is situated at the highest point of the Panduwasnuwara Kingdom,” says Ven. Katuwane Ariyagnana Thera of the Medagama Monastery.
According to him, this site was Gazetted as an archaeological site during back in 2005.   The Ven. Thera claims that it is extremely important to conserve this site as it is of the first King of Lanka.
It has been abandoned to the extent that nobody could reach this site because of the undergrowth. The people of this area are keen in the conservation of this site as it will be useful for the future generations. The Hettipola Police too has been informed about this negligence. Therefore on behalf of the people of Medagama, I humbly request the relevant authorities to start conserving this site and others that have been neglected.”

The Daily Mirror also learned that conservation of archaeological sites is now done by the Central Cultural Fund. But several attempts to contact officials of the Fund and the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Wayamba Development and Cultural Affairs, failed. 

Pics by Pushpa Weerasekara

According to our area correspondent, Pushpa Weerasekara, the burial site is situated at the centre of the Medagama Hill. It is believed that the structure of this site is similar to that of a pyramid or it looks as if two pagodas have been built, one on top of the other. 

No archaeological evidence about this site: 

A.M.N.B Alahakoon

In his comments to the Daily Mirror, A.M.N. B Alahakoon, Site Manager at the Panduwasnuwara Archaeology Department office said that although there was a myth about this so-called burial site, no archaeological evidence had been found thus far.
Therefore we cannot prove that this is the exact place where King Vijaya was buried. It is a popular myth in this area but without any evidence we cannot conserve it. The story of King Panduwasudeva never mentions of King Vijaya visiting this area.”

Rockypath to the site

 

Additional reporting by Pushpa Weerasekara

 

A symbol on the summit

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