OB03150 Magul-maha-vihāra Fragmentary Pillar of Vihāra-mahā-devī
Magul Maha Viharaya, Lahugala
IN03189 Magul-maha-vihāra Fragmentary Pillar Inscription of Vihāra-mahā-devī
This fragmentary inscription is engraved on three sides of a broken stone pillar found among the ruins of an ancient monastery situated in the Pānama Pattu of the Batticaloa District, about a mile to the south of the eighth mile-stone on the road from Potuvil to Vällavāya. The ancient name of this monastery was Rūṇu-maha-vehera; it is now known as Magul-maha-vihāra. The upper half of the pillar has been broken off and lost, resulting in the loss of large parts of the inscription. The record can be dated, on palaeographic grounds, to the fourteenth century. The extant portion of the inscription records that Rūṇu-maha-vehera, the ancient monastery at the site, was completely renovated by Vihāra-mahā-devī, the consort of the two brother kings named Parākramabāhu, after it had fallen into ruin and that she endowed it with lands for its maintenance. It seems that the inscription originally included a detailed account of the successful campaign fought by the brother kings after the Coḷa army but the inscription is mutilated just at the point where the reference to this historical event begins. The pillar was apparently set up after the demise of these kings, since the inscription tells us in the past tense that Vihāra-mahā-devī ‘was the chief consort of the two brother kings’. Since these brothers are described as ruling over Rohaṇa in another inscription found at Magul-maha-vihāra (IN03188), it seems likely that they were local princes whose authority was confined to this region, rather than paramount sovereigns of Sri Lanka.
OB03149 Magul-maha-vihāra Slab of Vihāra-mahā-devī
Magul Maha Viharaya, Lahugala
IN03188 Magul-maha-vihāra Slab Inscription of Vihāra-mahā-devī
This inscription is engraved on a stone slab found to the left of the flight of steps at the entrance to a ruined structure on the site of an ancient monastery situated in the Pānama Pattu of the Batticaloa District, about a mile to the south of the eighth mile-stone on the road from Potuvil to Vällavāya. The ancient name of this monastery was Rūṇu-maha-vehera; it is now known as Magul-maha-vihāra. The present inscription can be dated, on palaeographic grounds, to the fourteenth century. It is written as a palimpsest over a long tenth-century inscription which has thus been obliterated, save for thirteen lines at the end. The later inscription records that Rūṇu-maha-vehera, the ancient monastery at the site, was completely renovated by Vihāra-mahā-devī, the consort of the two brother kings named Pärakumbā, after it had fallen into ruin and that she endowed it with lands for its maintenance. Since these brothers are described in this inscription as ruling over Rohaṇa, it seems likely that they were local princes whose authority was confined to this region, rather than paramount sovereigns of Sri Lanka.
OB03148 Tiriyāy Inscribed Rock
Nītupatpāṇa Vihara (also known Girihandu Seya), Tiriyāy, Trincomalee
IN03187 Tiriyāy Rock Inscription
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.
OB03147 Anurādharpura Smaller Stone Canoe
IN03186 Anurādharpura Stone Canoe Inscription
This inscription is engraved on the smaller of the two stone canoes found in the vicinity of the ‘Stone Canopy’ (Burrows’ Pavilion) in the area of the Abhayagiri Vihāra at Anurādharpura. It consists of three lines and can be dated on the basis of the palaeography to the latter half of the eighth century or the beginning of the ninth century. The purpose of the inscription is to state that the stone canoe was the gift of a novice (sāmaṇera) named Gonnā.
OB03146 Tammannǟgala Moonstone
IN03185 Tammannǟgala Moonstone Inscription
This inscription is engraved round the edge of a moonstone placed at the bottom of a flight of steps leading to the dāgäba at an old vihara called Tammannǟgala in the Nǟgampaha Kōraḷē of the Anurādhapura District. It was first noticed for scholarship by H. C. P. Bell in the Archaeological Survey of Ceylon Annual Report for 1895 (p. 7, no. 14). Bell dated the inscription to the ninth century but Senarath Paranavitana argued on the basis of the palaeography for an earlier date, sometime between the reigns of Kassapa III (r. 732–738 A.D.) and Sena I (r. 846–866 A.D.). The inscription states that the moonstone on which it is engraved was a gift of a person named Valjeṭu of Piḷiyāna.