Kudumbigala hermitage/monastery, (near) Panama, North Eastern Province, SL

Raw data

“Some 2 km inland from Okanda, around Helawa lagoon, lies the extensive forest hermitage of Kudumbigala, (4700 hectares) established in the 1st century BC by Buddhist monks. 225 known caves are believed to have been occupied by Buddhist monks as far back as the first century BC. One of the first rock temples you see on your ascent features a 1st-century BC inscription over the arch indicating the number of Arahath Theras (supremely enlightened Buddhist monks) who dwelled in this land. There is a part-restored stupa too. There are plans to develop the hermitage into an international meditation centre.

This Hermitage, built with the advent of the Arahat (supremely enlightened) Mahinda during the reign of famous Deer Hunter, King Devanam Piya Tissa (307-266 BC) is considered one of the most important ancient Sacred Lands in the country. A stupa built on a rock called "Belum Gala" is built as a replica of the Dharmachakra Dhammika Stupa of Isipathanaranama of India and is the only such Stupa in the island of Sri Lanka. The ancient Dagoba built in the centre of the land too show great craftsmanship. The symbol on top of the rock inscription at the entrance to cave housing the great "Sudharshana" rock statue is unique in terms of its features. At the end of trek of two hours, at the top of the rock, we will be rewarded with the spectacular view as far as Kataragama.”

“The Kudumbigala Monastery is located along the south east coast of Sri Lanka. The area is very sparsely inhabited and the monastery is in the middle of thick jungle. The complex is said to have been built in 246 BC during the reign of King Devanampiyatissa.” - http://www.flickr.com/photos/58946280@N07/7947588744/
Input by: tmciolek, Jan 24, 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 Kudumbigala monastery, SL.

General location of the Kudumbigala monastery, SL.
Lat 6.6721 Long 81.7432
Mapping & images: Falling Rain Genomics (http://www.fallingrain.com), 2013.

Google Map link:


Final data - explanatory notes

1. Monastery's name

2. Monastery's modern country & province

  • Sri Lanka:North Eastern Province

3. Monastery's alternative/historical names

4. Monastery's lat/long coordinates

  • Approx. Lat 6.6721 Long 81.7432 - based on visual identification of the site in maps/satellite imagery, maps.google.com - tmciolek, 24 Jan 2013.

5. Other known nearby Buddhist monasteries

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 - tmciolek 24 Jan 2013
  • <=0200 dated-e

12. Date-intermediate

  • [missing data]

13. Date-late

  • [missing data]

14. Details of contacts with other monasteries

15. Type of evidence regarding the monastery

  • [missing data]

16. Additional notes

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

  • [missing data]

18. Available Printed Literature

  • [bibliographical details of the Book/Article 1]
  • [bibliographical details of the Book/Article 2]
  • [bibliographical details of the Book/Article 3]

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