Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Somawathi: Polonnaruwa - Under Flood

The Somawathi sacred area has gone under water following torrential rain.

The Sri Lanka Navy is operating a special boat service to supply food and other essential items to the Buddhist Monks of the Vihare and the Army Unit and Police Officers who are stationed in the area. Wild animals are seriously affected by the floods in the region. It is reported that the army is engaged in an untiring effort to rescue these wild animals. Our correspondent said that half of the inner part of the Chaithya is under water following the floods.

Somawathi Stupa is located in the middle of the jungle, in Polonnaruwa District. From Polonnaruwa, you have to travel to Sungavila and then take a gravel road which leads to the temple through the Jungle. Its recommended to go in dry season ( of cause its dusty), because there is a probability that the area get flooded during the raining time.

Somawathi stupa has written historical evidence that it was constructed in 2nd century BC. This dageba was named for the princes Somawathi, the sister of king Kawanthissa.. She got married to prince Abhaya, a nephew of of king Shiva of Kelaniya. He was the ruler of the Somapura Kingdom, which was located by the Mahaveli river.

They constructed a new temple in their kingdom and searching for a "dathu" to deposit in the stupa. They received the right side tooth relic of load Buddha from reverent arahath Mahinda thero. According to the historical facts, this dageba was constructed with depositing them.

With the end of Polonnaruwa kingdom, the Somawathiya Viharaya became a uninhabited area and forgotten for more than 800 years. In 1947, the first premier of Sri lanka, Mr D.S. Senanayake make this area habitat for the civilian. This was under his new agricultural program. Some of the newly settle people found some radiance emitted from this place and informed the authorities. Thats the rediscovery of the Somawathi Stupa.

Reconstruction of this place started in year 1966 and completed in 1981 with "Koth Peladavima". During the reconstruction, authorities decided to keep a small strip of the dageba, in the original look, with out plastering. So still you can see the small part of the first structure done by princes Somawathi and Princes Giri Aba and the second reconstruction done around it by king Kanitta Thissa in 164 AD.

Somawathi Stupaya is considered as a place which eminates Buddha rays. There were several such incidence happenings in the recent past and many eye witnesses also. Some times wild elephants used to come to thgis place and worship the stupa. Today many pilgrims visit this place and many facilities established.

Find out photos of more historical places at below links: