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Ampara | Bowattegala Monastery

Bowattegala Monastery

High on the banks on Kumbukkan River hidden amidst the dense jungle is an ancient monastery of third century BC.Lost to the forest and wild beast the caves, rock structure and Buddha statue lay abandoned with time scattered and unexplored.

Bowattegala, a rock strewn mountain in the midst of Kumana, had been first fashioned a monastery in the third-second century BC by the ten noble brothers of Kataragama, known in Sri Lankan history as the ‘Kataragama-kshathriya’ .A rare but lengthy cave inscription speaks of the genealogy of these Souther Royals, who ruled the Southern and Eastern provinces of  Lanka under the regime of the main King in Anuradhapura. 

These noble princes of Southern Sri Lanka had been participants of the festivals held in Anuradhapura in celebration of the arrival of the sacred Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi in Sri Lanka and had received one of the first eight plants to shoot from the sacred Bodhi Tree. Although it was long believed this Bodhi shoot to have been planted in Kataragama, some archeologist speculate that the young Bodhi plant could have been planted in Bowattegala; thus the reason for a singularly lengthy stone inscription within the monastery grounds

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