Moodu Maha Viharaya and its lonely chief incumbent in Pottuvil Point

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Asia » Sri Lanka
August 7th 2008
Published: April 6th 2009
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The chief incumbent of the Viharaya Ven. Kataragama Siriratana Thera is not happy at all. However he was pleased to welcome us with a big smile with a set of bettle nut stained teeth. We did not plan to visit this place beforehand, then a boy we met at the restaurant told us about the place hidden almost in the sand.

We drove along many little alleyways and front of some gardens through the Muslim settlement. It was very obvious for us to notice the unpleasant gesture from the locals while we were driving towards the ruins. The local tourist authorities here in Eastern Province have given very little notice and almost zero encouragement for anyone who would like to visit this place.

Most of them were still talking about Tsunami and there were signs of Tsunami devastation everywhere. A cluster of NGO's and their presence all over this area.

Anyway back to our visit, this historical site is on the seashore, the place famously called for Pottuvil Point. Much of the remains at the site appear to be covered by sea sand or site is under threat from illegal settlement by Muslim community (This what were told by the Buddhist monk at the site).

At an elevated site is a ruined dagoba. West of the dagoba are the remains of a pillared structure. There is a torso of a standing Buddha statue. To the south is an image house and a pond. East of the dagoba are seen stumps of pillars and brick walls. It is believed that buried under a thick layer of sand are other remains of ancient structures.

This great Buddhist temple near the sea dated back to the 2nd century B.C. and has ruins and many sculptures from that era. It is stated in the ancient chronicle the "Rajavaliya" that in the second century BC after Kelaniya was submerged by the sea (Tsunami), Devi daughter of King was cast to sea in a Golden Vessel to appease the gods, and washed ashore near a Vihara to became queen to king Kavan Tissa under the name Viharamahadevi.

Additional photos below
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18th July 2009

Encroachment by Muslim neighbours
The priest who guards this historical ancient temple Ven.Kataragama Siri Ratana lives in a hostile neighbourhood occupied by muslims. They have forcibly captured almost all temple land and the priest is a prisoner in his own temple. His letters are intercepted, he is threatned, had been assaulted, temple robbed and vandalized by the muslims who are 99.5% of the population in the area. They are trying their best to chase the priest away to encroach on the temple land. He has no income, no devotees to provide his meals and has a humble and a pitiful existence. He is truly a devoted and a dedicated monk who protects his centuries old site. He needs support and protection urgently.
28th July 2009

wow..pothuvil..itz my place...that police men mr.ananda i know him too...fotos looks good...
28th July 2009

Thanks for all your comments!
7th November 2009

How do we communicate with the temple?
I have read with pain in my heart and tears in my eyes about the courage and the devotion of Ven Siri Rathana himi. There was an article that appeared on the internet some time ago on this encroachment by muslims and also last week on the Budu Sarana paper. I have a mobile number 077 6158295 but it's switched off. Can any one please tell me how i can get in touch with him by phone? It looks like there is no point in writing a letter to him i suppose if mails are intercepted. I have heard of Mr.Roshan Silva's efforts to help the temple. May be he has another number to call him. Please e mail [] or call/sms to my mobile 0715577008. Thank you.

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