Deegavapi Raja Maha monastery, (near) Ampara, Eastern Province, SL

Raw data

"Many people think Digavapi is only a Buddhist Dagaba in the Ampara District built during the Second Century B. C. It is true that an enormous Dagaba was built by King Sadda Tissa, brother of Dutugemunu.

According to the Mahawansa, the Buddha on his third visit to Sri Lanka, after spending the day at the foot of Samantakuta (Adam's Peak) set out for Digavapi and seated himself with the brotherhood at the place where the Cetiya (afterwards) stood. He gave himself up to meditation to consecrate the spot. However, Dipavamsa, the older Chronicle says that the Buddha travelling through air, went to Digavapi from Kelaniya thupa and that "at the place of Digavapi Cetiya, the Buddha who was full of compassion to the world, descended from the air and again entered upon mystical meditation. Therefore Digavapi Cetiya has become one of the sixteen most sacred places of the Buddhists in Sri Lanka".

"[…] historian venerable Ellawela Medananda thero believes that this ["paribogika"] stupa enshrines a nail relic of Buddha. An inscription on a gold foil unearthed during excavations discloses that King Kawanthissa (164-192) has done renovations to the stupa. With passage of time, this temple was neglected with the internal conflicts of the country. King Keerthi Sri Rajasinghe (1747 - 1781) seeing the status of the temple carried out major renovations and handed it over to Rev. Bandigide Negrodha thero along with 1000 'amunu' (2000-2500 acres) of land in 1756. Two stone inscriptions by King Saddhasissa and King Keerthi Sri Rajasinghe has been in existence at the Deegavapi until last centaury but both of these have mysteriously disappeared now. But a copy of the Rajasinghe inscription which was made in 1845 exists today.

The stupa has been 110 feet height when the archeological department started its renovation work in 1964, but a document by Badigode Buddharakitha thero has put the height to 185 feet in 1845. The circumference of the stupa is about 1000 feet. Currently a height of 30 feet has been restored."

Input by: GitaG, May 23, 2013

Final data (and their sources)

Last updated: 30 May 2013

Lat/Long coordinates' accuracy:
The monastery in question is assumed to be situated actually no farther than 200 m from the point defined by the coordinates below.

Location of Deegavapi Raja Maha monastery, SL.

General location of the Deegavapi Raja Maha monastery, SL.
Lat 7.24098 Long 81.75783
Mapping & images: Falling Rain Genomics (, 2013.

Google Map link:,%20SL)&ll=7.24098,81.75783&spn=05.0,05.0&t=k&hl=en

Final data - explanatory notes

1. Monastery's name

  • Deegavapi Raja Maha Vihara

2. Monastery's modern country & province

  • Sri Lanka: Eastern Province

3. Monastery's alternative/historical names

4. Monastery's lat/long coordinates

  • Approx. Lat 7.24098 Long 81.75783 - based on visual identification of the Deegavapi stupa in maps/satellite imagery & Panoramio photographs, - tmciolek, 31 May 3013.

5. Other known nearby Buddhist monasteries

  • Buddhangala Monastery

6. Modern name of the known nearest city, town, or village

7. The settlement's alternative/historical names

8. The settlement's coordinates

9. Monastery's major Buddhist tradition

  • Theravada

10. Monastery's Buddhist sub-tradition

  • [missing data]

11. Date-early

  • MBM chrono-tag: <=0200 - GitaG 23 May 2013
  • <=0200 0200-32c 0233-66c 0267-99c 0300-32c 0333-66c 0367-99c 0400-32c 0433-66c 0467-99c 0500-32c 0533-66c 0567-99c 0600-32c 0633-66c 0667-99c 0700-32c 0733-66c 0767-99c 0800-32c 0833-66c 0867-99c 0900-32c 0933-66c 0967-99c 1000-32c 1033-66c 1067-99c 1100-32c 1133-66c 1167-99c 1200=> dated-el

12. Date-intermediate

  • [missing data]

13. Date-late

  • MBM chrono-tag: 1200=> - GitaG 23 May 2013

14. Details of contacts with other monasteries

  • [missing data]

15. Type of evidence regarding the monastery

  • Archaeological, architectural, inscriptions

16. Additional notes

  • [missing data] (incl. details of the size of the monastic population)

17. Corrections & addenda to this page were kindly provided by

  • [missing data]

18. Known monks and nuns associated with this monastery

19. Available Printed Literature

  • Mavavamsa (English translation and commentary by Geiger)
  • Dhammika, Ven S. 2008. Sacred Island: A Buddhist pilgrim's guide to Sri Lanka. Kandy: Buddhist Publications Society.
  • [bibliographical details of the Book/Article 3]

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