Yudaganawa is situated in the Uva province in the Monaragala district and the site is 240 km from Colombo. Yudaganawa is historical monuments and religious attractions, however, it is not a popular tourist attraction and not included in most tour itineraries.
History in dedigama
Yudaganawa denotes battlefield as per the book GLIMPSE OF THE PAST, which was written by well-known archaeologist Senarath Paranawithana. Yudaganawa considered being the place, where Prince Dutugemunu fought with his brother Prince Saddhatissa. Prince Saddhatissa and his army lost the war against his brother and had to retreat.
It is said that Prince Saddhatissa was pursued by the army of Prince Dutugemunu and Saddhatissa hid in a temple called Demata Maha Seya 8 km from the battlefield. Saddhatissa was helped by the chief incumbent of the temple and saved his life. The incident took place in 2nd Century BC.
There is another description of Yudaganawa, which says that it is being the place where the weapon was hidden. It is believed King Dutugemunu hid considerable stock of arms in Yudaganawa. The Dagoba that can be seen in Yudaganawa was built by King Parakramabahu in 12th century AD. Dagoba is located at the place, where the Queen Rathnawalee (mother of king Parakramabahu) was cremated.
However, as per Meureen Senevirathne’s book “History happened here”, it is claimed by an elderly and venerable monk and some villagers of the area that it was built by Dutugemunu upon reaching the reconciliation between the two brothers.
However, Senarath Paranawithana claims that the brickwork of the Stupa is similar to the brickworks of Polonnaruwa period (12th Century). There are several wells know other archaeologists also bearing the same opinion as to Mr Paranawithana.
The stupa on the site is a very unusual shape compared to the other dagobas in the country. Dagoba is built on a levelled platform and the top of the dagoba is flattened again. There are only four Dagobas found in this architecture on the whole island. The other dagobas in this architecture are; Demalamaha seya in Polonnaruwa, Kotavehera in Dedigama and Deliwala. Just before the Dagoba, there is an ancient “Buduge” (house with Buddha statues and paintings).
It is believed that paintings and statues are recreated about 50 years back. There are stone pillars on the site which are considered being rest of another religious building and that had been dividing into compartments. Padowanya or a foot bath, Muragala or guard stone and some other religious monuments can be seen within the border of the stone pillars.
There is a ruin of another building in the modern temple with stone pillars; the stone pillars are more than 10 feet’s in height. Broken wall and ancient inscriptions are also can be seen in the building. It is believed that the ruined building was resided by King Dutugemunu; it is also considered being the place where the King celebrated his victory against his brother.
Yudaganawa Dagoba has been neglected in the past and restoration of it started recently after 100s of years. There are a lot of trees grown on the outer wall of the dagoba some evidence of negligence. Restoration is performed by the archaeological department of Sri Lanka.