This inscription is engraved on a rock situated about 200 feet (60.96 m) to the south of the vaṭadāgē at the ancient Buddhist monastery now called Nītupatpāṇa (also known Girihandu Seya) near the village of Tiriyāy (Thiriyai). This monastery stands at the summit of a hill, known by the Tamil name of Kandasāmimalai (the Hill of the Lord Skanda), about a mile to the west of the village, which is located near the sea-coast, roughly twenty-nine miles to the north of Trincomalee in the Eastern Province. The inscription can be dated on palaeographic grounds to the late seventh or first half of the eighth century A.D. and is written in Sanskrit.
The record begins with an account of some sea-faring merchants but the fragmentary nature of the first few lines prevents us from knowing who these merchants were or why they were mentioned here. The major part of the inscription is occupied by a long eulogy of a shrine named Girikaṇḍi-caitya, in which the author of the document speaks in the first person, although his name is not found in the surviving portion of the text. The eulogy is followed by the pious wish of the author that, by the merit he has gained by praising the shrine, the world may be freed from the miseries of existence; this wish identifies the author as a Mahāyānist, something which can perhaps also be inferred from the fact that the document is written in Sanskrit. The next portion of the inscription states that Girikaṇḍi-caitya was founded by the guilds of merchants named Trapussaka and Vallika. The record ends with the Buddhist formula about the transitory nature of mundane things.
It may be reasonably assumed that the merchants referred to at the start of the inscription are identical with those mentioned towards the end of the text, who are named as Trapussaka and Vallika. These names seem to be corruptions of Trapuṣa (Tapussa in Pāli) and Bhallika (Bhalluka in the Nidānakathā), two merchants who offered food to the Buddha immediately after his enlightenment, became the first among his lay disciples and were the recipients of some his hair. The hair-relics received by these merchants have been associated with a number of different sites across South Asia (see Misc. Notes for more details). However, as Senarath Paranavitana argues, the present inscription appears to claim that the caitya at Tiriyāy was founded by these merchants to enshrine the hair-relics. This claim can be linked with a later statement in the Pūjāvalī, a Sinhalese religious work written in the thirteenth century. According to the Pūjāvalī, Tapassu and Bhalluka enshrined the relics at the summit of a rock in a place called Girihaṇ̆ḍu in Sri Lanka. The temple at Tiriyāy is known by the Sinhalese name Girihaṇ̆ḍu, the Sanskrit form of which is Girikaṇḍika, as the site is called in the present inscription. There is another stupa known by this name elsewhere in Sri Lanka – the Girihaṇ̆ḍu (Girikanda) stupa at Ambalantoṭa – but the geography described in the Pūjāvalī most closely matches the location of the stupa at Tiriyāy.