Archive for the 'Religious' Category

Muhudu Maha Viharaya

The legendary photographer, the late Nihal Fernando’s stunning image narrates the tale of the vanishing glory of Muhudu Maha Viharaya

Life brings tears, smiles and memories that last forever. All it takes is a picture to bring back a thousand memories. Our subject this time is the Muhudu Maha Viharaya in Pottuvil where time stands still, where the dust of the royal past never settles. How about reliving an age gone by?

Now, you can take a step back in time and enjoy the fascinating past. Photographic records of a bygone era capture a slice of history and become part of our cultural heritage. Nihal Fernando’s timeless photo of Muhudu Maha Viharaya, brings alive the past in minute detail. A picture is worth a thousand words, they say. The photo, with a vast grove of coconut trees amidst the ancient ruins of Muhudu Maha Viharaya narrates the tale of today’s despair in a telling manner.

Though there is no dearth of evidence on an era gone by in Muhudu Maha Viharaya, this picture is perhaps the first of its kind. Fernando might have taken it in the 60s or 70s which shows how the temple ground occupies the grove of coconut trees near the sea coast off Pottuvil. Just about everything in Pottuvil is contained in this photo. And what’s more, it solves many a jigsaw puzzle.

The photo presents a grove of coconut trees in front of the temple ruins which belonged to the temple and is now a bustling housing scheme. Similarly, one gets to see government buildings close to the sea coast near the temple. This photo is one of the best ways to show the picture of Muhudu Maha Viharaya in an age gone by and today the temple is facing a land dispute.

Photographer Nihal Fernando embarked on a voyage across the length and breadth of the country with camera in hand in an era of black and white or monochrome photography (sixties and seventies). He captured historic sites, monuments, people and wildlife, travelling freely everywhere in the country which was an obvious advantage during the post-independence but pre-war period.

I am an avid admirer of this great photographer and the stunning photo was culled from one of his pictorial books –‘The Wild- The free – The beautiful’- published in 1988.

At the Muhudu Maha Viharaya, he captured this breathtaking candid shot that captures the solitude and silence of the environs in a bygone era which is evidence of today’s encroachment of temple land by nearby villagers.

As Nihal Fernando did, I too visited Muhudu Maha Viharaya on several occasions during my journeys to the East. I visited it after the Peace Accord (MoU) was signed by the Government and the LTTE in 2000 and also during my visits to the Yala East National Park.

During my second visit in 2008, I stayed overnight at the temple to view the breathtaking sunrise over Arugam Bay. At that time, Ven. Kataragama Sirirathana Thera was the resident monk of the Viharaya. He told me that he rarely gets the Dana (alms) twice a day since the Sinhala Buddhis community is very small in Pottuvil. Sometimes he depended on the Buddhist pilgrims who visited the temple.

Ven. Udalamaththe Ratnapriya Thera is the present resident monk of the temple. He said that in the past the temple owned 30 acres of land, but due to encroachment by the villagers the land has shrunk to a very small area. He said there are around 17 Sinhala families who live around Pottuvil and offer Dana (alms) to the temple. Sometimes, the soldiers of the nearby Army camp provide meals while some financial contributions are provided by Buddhist pilgrims who visit the site. Not far away from the township of Pottuvil lies a tiny hamlet amidst bustling concrete block houses. Scattered here and there on the elevated ground were a few stone pillars and a torso of the standing statue of the Buddha along with limbless limestone -cut statues believed to be a Mahayanist Buddhist site. In the bushes of the sand dunes generated by the waves are a few stone pillars. A few yards away from this spot on the sandy beach facing the sea was a heap of broken bricks strewn here and there. Some stone pillars were partially submerged in the sand. A glistering newly-built white dagoba stands majestically on the elevated ground in the coast. Several brickbats and terracotta sculptures have been discovered in the process of excavation.

The name given to this antique spot locally is Muhudu Maha Viharaya. According to a folk tale, after the Royal wedding of Princess Vihara Maha Devi, daughter of King Kelani Tissa and King KavanTissa of the Rohana kingdom, the Royal couple made their maiden visit (probably on their honeymoon) to this spot. Kelaniya was submerged by the sea due to a natural disaster. Princess Devi the daughter of the King of Kelaniya was cast away to sea in a vessel and the princess washed ashore near the Muhudu Maha Vihara in Pottuvil. To commemorate that occasion, the king is said to have built these dagobas and the image house which are now almost in ruins and hardly discernible.

When Nihal Fernando visited the site, the limestone cut-Buddha statue that was lying prone on the ground has since been restored. This fallen Buddha statue has now been restored to its original standing position by the Department of Archaeology. However, the stunning photo that Nihal Fernando captured many decades ago is a perfect picture of Muhudu Maha Viharaya even to date.






This weekend @ AbaY

AA?busyA?and veryA?importantA?weekend ahead.

H.E. The President. Expected at Arugam Bay.

Preparations, repairs, construction, cleaning up and painting operations are in progress all around Arugam Bay and nearby PottuVille Town.
It seems that a New Beach Approach Road is going to be opened.
This picturesque road leads to one of the island’s perhaps most important Temple site:
“Muhudu Maha Vihara”

Muhudu Maha Vihara (ancient Temple) Road

PottuVille has a hugeA?potential.
To become yet another Tourist and Pilgrim destination
Next to famous Order prinivil lisinopril Arugam Bay

A New Bus & car park

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New Temple near the ancient, historical site

The perhaps oldest Temple on the island?

Ancient wedding @ Arugam Bay?

The Ceylon Traveller Magul Maha Viharaya, Lahugala
(about 10 min. West of Arugam Bay Protonix overdose treatment ) Pariet price australia

….. “the actual location where the wedding took place is the nearby Muhudu Maha Viharaya at Arugam Bay” …..

Another view of the Magul Maduwa, Small stupa near the entrance, Ruins of a stupa, Stone pillars, Preaching hall (dharma shalawa) , Children attending sunday school at the temple and Stone carving of a monkey

Text and Photos by Sachini Perera

I visited Magul Maha Viharaya in Lahugala back in 2009. It is yet another place that has so much history behind it and lots of interesting tidbits but is not flaunting any of it, preferring to exist quietly.
Lahugala is ten miles inland off the East Coast town of Pottuvil, an area believed to have been part of the Ruhunu kingdom. It is home to several tanks, beautiful green vegetation, a National Park (with a good chance of seeing elephants frolicking near the road) and the MagulA?Maha Viharaya, which is also known as Ruhunu Maha Viharaya.
During the war, many civilians from adjoining villages had left the area for safety and it is only now that the temple is once again being patronised regularly and is visited by pilgrims and tourists. Continue reading ‘Ancient wedding @ Arugam Bay?’

To the cries of sadhu, sadhu a pinnacle is placed

Ver revistas online bravo …… The villagers in remote Hulannuge close to Lahugala (famous for elephants roaming around at any time of the day) on the Moneragala-Pottuvil (-Arugam Bay) Road, were gathered for a rare pinkama. They were to participate in a pinnacle-laying ceremony of the newly-constructed chaitya……

The kotha being taken to the top of the chaitya

The remote village of Hulannuge turns into a hive of activity as villagers prepare for a rare pinkama, says D.C. Ranatunga who was present

As dusk fell they made their way to the village temple in their numbers. A festive mood prevailed. Little ones were attracted to the balloon sellers. The women were taking a close look at the posters on Buddhist themes. The men pulled out their wallets and parted with a few rupees for the cash collection. The names were announced over the sound system and merit offered. A ‘viridu’ singer with a ‘rabana’ in his hand recited verses fit for the occasion.

The villagers in remote Hulannuge close to Lahugala (famous for elephants roaming around at any time of the day) on the Moneragala-Pottuvil Road, were gathered for a rare pinkama. They were to participate in a pinnacle-laying ceremony of the newly-constructed chaitya.

The pinnacle atop the gleaming white chaitya

In the rocky terrain, the hilltop was an ideal site for the chaitya which could be spotted from a distance. It was years of hard labour. Transporting bricks, cement, sand and other building materials was no easy task. It was the shramadana effort of the illagers, the generosity of a few businessmen and well-wishers and above all the determination of Kurundugolle Saarananda Thera that saw the project through. Continue reading ‘To the cries of sadhu, sadhu a pinnacle is placed’


The first pilgrims of the traditional, annual “Walk on Foot” (‘Pada Yatra’)A? from Jaffna in the very North all the way to Kataragama in the deep South of our island have reached Arugam Bay today. As always, this colorful, happy, cheerful and peaceful event is mentioned on

2011 walk / photo by

Here are a few impressions fromA? Arugam Bay:

Buy grifulvin Information taken from the web site of the organizers:
he traditional two month long Pada Yatra or foot pilgrimage from Jaffna to Kataragama annually in May-June-July is neither a peace march nor a political rally, but a traditional procession of village devotees who represent the rural voice of Sri Lanka.

Images of generic coreg The Pada Yatra tradition is an essential part of Lanka’s multi-cultural ethos. The Yatra begins with pilgrims moving from one sacred site to another, with their numbers growing as the Yatra progresses.

more details:

Viharaya bulldozing case fixed for Sept 9

Wasantha RAMANAYAKE Daily News Online The Supreme Court yesterday granted the Attorney General time to obtain instructions in respect of the rights Cheap cardizem medication

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application filed against the bulldozing of two buildings belonging to the Arugambay Samabodhi Viharaya. Senior State Counsel Lakmali Karunanayake appearing for the Attorney General moved for time to get instructions in respect of the application. The Court accordingly fixed the case for September 9. The Bench comprised Justice Dr Shirani Bandaranayake, Justice K Sripavan and Justice RKS Sureshchandra. Petitioner, Samabodhi Viharaya Chief Prelate Ven. Sivuralumulle Dhammasiri Thera complained to Court that the illegal demolition of the temple was in violation of his rights as well as that of Buddhists in the area. The petitioner sought the Supreme Court to order the respondents to rebuild the destroyed buildings or in the alternative to order for compensation in Rs. 80 million. Continue reading ‘Viharaya bulldozing case fixed for Sept 9’

Kebilitta, Arugam Bay And Kumana

Over the last weekend I visited the Eastern Province with a group of friends. Having left Colombo at 4.00 in the morning, after almost a seven hour journey, we reached our destination; Arugam Bay.

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"Arugam Bay"

By KanchanaA?Ratwatte
The closest access to this much sought-after surfing beach of Sri Lanka is via Ratnapura, Uda Walawe, Wellawaya, Monaragala, Siyambalanduwa and Pottuvil. While on the way, passing Uda Walawe and Lahugala, we did see quite a few elephants. The road network as in the case of all main roads in the Eastern Province, was well laid out with a new carpet and the drive was one great experience.
As we entered the bustling township, the first observation was the number of tourists that had gathered for the internationally publicized surfing festival which had concluded the previous weekend. Continue reading ‘Kebilitta, Arugam Bay And Kumana’


Protest against destruction at Arugam Bay temple

Buddhist monks and people of the area staged a protest today (Aug 02) against the recent destruction of several buildings of Samabodhi Vihara in Sinequan buy online How much plaquenil cost Arugam Bay.

Protest on the PottuVille side of Arugam Bay bridge

A certain group, aided by Pottuvil Police, had reportedly used bulldozers and razed the buildings 10 days ago, alleges chief incumbent Ven. Sivurumulle Dhammasiri Thera.

Meeting the protestors this morning, DIG R.M. Weerasuriya promised to apprehend the culprits within three days and to renovate the destroyed buildings. Continue reading ‘Protest against destruction at Arugam Bay temple’

Arugam Bay Prayer Times

When To Pray. And when not to Surf at Arugam Bay….

continue here for July Schedule Continue reading ‘Arugam Bay Prayer Times’

Arugam Bay on a surf & a Prayer

Aruagmbay Surf (and nonA?surf-) times for A?Muslim Surfers

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The official A?schedule of A?Prayer times is appended below.
Valid for the competition month of June, A?2010.
(Abay & PottuVille)
Continue reading ‘Arugam Bay on a surf & a Prayer’

Panama. 15km South of Arugambay

Pattini Devale, Panama

After the 2004 Boxing Day Tsunami, I made several trips to Pottuvil on the East Coast of Sri Lanka with loads of supplies for the displaced people. On one such trip, in early April, I continued south to the village of Panama (pronounced paa-nuh-muh).
Over 200 years ago, on the 13th of September 1800, an Englishman, William Orr, Esq (a civil servant) visited Panama on the way from Tangalle in the south to Batticaloa in the East. According to his report to the British Governor,

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Paoneme contains sixty inhabitants, who cultivate seventy-three amonams of paddy ground.
The following year Thomas Anthony Reeder, surgeon of the 51st Regiment of Foot (who was to die soon after, during the 1st Kandyan War) travelled in the opposite direction. According to his journal,
Panoa is situate on a plain surrounded by jungle. Here are some cultivated fields, and several large stocks of paddee.
A year later, the British Governor himself, the Hon. Frederick North (later 5th Earl of Guilford), followed the southward route. He was accompanied by the Inspector of Hospitals in Ceylon, Thomas Christie, Esq, who reported that Zyban price in pakistan
Panoa is a considerable village, and the country round it abounds with paddee fields.

What these descriptions – which appear in James Cordiner’s A Description of Ceylon (London, 1807; Dehiwela, Tisara Prakasakayo, 1983) – show (apart from the recognised inability of the English to tackle with any accuracy the phonetics of foreign place names) is that Panama’s chief attraction was its paddy fields. The surrounding jungle was far more notable to these perfidious Albionians: Christie was highly excited by the sight, en-route to the village of
a herd of wild hogs, and an alligator, both of which allowed us to approach very near.

Rock, fields and tank at Panama

When I visited the place, however, it was in the knowledge that it possesses a Devale (temple) of the goddess Pattini. The shrine, on a rocky spot on the shore of a tank, is a Buddhist one. However, Hindu shrines of Pattini also exist, Continue reading ‘Panama. 15km South of Arugambay’

Okanda is 30km south of Arugam Bay

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The sylvan shrine at Ukanthamalai devoted to Lord Murugan

The sylvan shrine, Ukanthamalai Shri Murugan Kovil devoted to Lord Murugan – the presiding deity at Kataragama, is a popular pilgrimsa?? resort in the Ampara district.

Of all the places of Hindu worship in the district, this jungle shrine, far removed from human habitation represents a manifestation of divine power and sublimity and stands unique as a much hallowed centre for penance and prayer.

Pilgrims from all parts of the country, despite their varied religions faiths and cultures wend their way to this sacred rock temple with adorations for spiritual salvation. Nearly two thousand pilgrims on Pada Yatra from the North are now at this jungle shrine. Many more thousands are expected to arrive at the shrine in the next few days.

Buddhists, Christians and Hindus seem to believe that a prayer and an offering made at this shrine brings good luck and divine intercession in times of difficulties. Therefore, a pilgrimage to Ukanthamalai Shrine is not confined to any one particular season, or to a festival. It is pooja and worship at the shrine at all days and at all times by the ever flowing stream of devotees.

The shrine is situated approximately twelve miles south of Panama, on the Kumana-Panama jungle path, within the administrative limits of Lahugala Divisional Secretariat. To the North, South and the West of the temple are the seven sacred hills the ocean to the East. Continue reading ‘Okanda is 30km south of Arugam Bay’