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Madukanda Viharaya

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History

According an article by Lieutenant Colonel Chandana Weerakoon, Among the 83 rock inscriptions in Vavuniya, 58 belong to the era of Nandimitra while the others belong to the fifth Century and 12th Century. Among the 83 rock inscriptions the Sinhalese Language is also visible, which gives evidence of Sinhalese settlements from around 200 BC.

This area has faced tremendous cultural, social and religious changes due to the arrival of the ‘Tooth Relic” from India (Kalinga Deshaya). King Guhaseeva was the ruling king at the time. His daughter was Hemamali and son-in-low was Prince Dantha who brought the sacred tooth relic to Sri Lanka. During this time Minister Deva was ruling the Vanni region and the building of the Relic House is said to have been spear headed by Deva which was kept here temporarily until a proper Relic House was built in Anuradhapura.

Also known as Madukanda Sri Dalada Viharaya, Madukanda Vihara is a historic Buddhist temple. The historic religious site is located within the Madukanda village, which is at a distance of 4 kilometres from Vavuniya. The Madukanda village and the sacred temple date back to at least 4th century AD. As per a local legend, the giant Nandimithra, a top ranking official in King Dutugamunu’s army was born here. Also, one can also visit the former residence, Madukanda Walawwa of a famous Sinhalese chieftain who lived there during the British reign.Traveling to the Madukanda Vihara is easy.Getting to central Vavuniya costs about Rs. 250 for a ride on a three-wheeler. Additionally, the temple offers free accommodation and basic amenities to those visiting the Madukanda Vihara.