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Rajagala archeological site

Rajagala archaeological site is located in the Gramaseva division of Rajagalatenna in Ampara district. Rajagalatenna believed to be a Buddhist monastery about 2500 years earlier. Archaeologists believe that there had been a large number of Buddhist monks residing in this temple and the number of resident monks estimated to be around 2500. There is a large number of artefacts discovered during excavation at the site so far. There are several stone inscriptions among the valuables recovered from the site. Recently another two stone inscriptions were also discovered by a team of archaeologists from Sri Jayewardenepura University, Colombo.

The inscriptions had been done by a regional leader in Rajagalatenna. Inscriptions believed to be written during the reign of King Buddadasa. According to the inscriptions the temple had been known as Girikumbila. The inscriptions disclose valuable information about the donations received by the monks at Girikumbila temple. According to the members of the research team, the inscription also reveals a lot of information about the Governing system and political mould of the Digamadulla area in the ancient time.

The site had also been called Rassagala (the cave of Rassa); archaeologists believe that it was called Rassagala, while it was resided by the people or Raksha tribe.

The Rajagala temple had been a cave monastery complex of an advanced civilization and archaeologists have discovered much building scattered over a large area. They have discovered valuable stone masonry works and a toilet with a drainage system in one of the caves. The archaeological findings are classic examples of the grandeur of ancient Ruhuna kingdom.

The ancient temple was spread over more than thousand acres. More than 1400 archaeologically important places have been discovered within the borders of the site so far. Among the valuable artefacts discovered are stone inscriptions, dagobas, image houses, moonstones, guard stones, and Buddha statues. Archaeologists have discovered some painting in the caves of the temple and they believed to be done by the people of early civilization.

Rajagala archaeological site is one of the unpopular Buddhist heritages in Eastern Sri Lanka. It is located in a very remote area and the region is one of the least populated areas of the country. The archaeological site is located about 1030 feet above the sea level. Even though the exact date of the origin of the temple is unknown, the archaeologists believe that it resided as early as 3rd Century BC.

This historical Sri Lanka Buddhist temple is partly destroyed by the relic hunter in the past. At present, the number of visitors to the site is on the upward trend and facilities for the visitors are considerably improved by the department of archaeology.  The recent discovery is a valuable contribution to convincing the world about the historical value of the temple and the Buddhist domination in the island covering all parts of the island.

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S.P

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