The inscription is engraved on three sides of a stone pillar, which was discovered supporting the shrine in the Buddhist temple at Budumuttǟva (Budumuttawa), a village situated about a mile to the north-west of Nikaväraṭiya in the Kuruṇǟgala District. The temple was built during Kandyan times. The shrine consists of a wood and clay superstructure supported on a number of stone pillars, all of which appear to have been scavenged from the ruins of earlier buildings, though their original contexts are not known. Two of these pillars bear Tamil inscriptions, one of which is dealt with here (see IN03147 for the other). The existence of both inscriptions was first recorded by Edward Müller in his Ancient Inscriptions of Ceylon (1883: 60, no. 1).


The present inscription is dated in the eighth year of king Abhaya Śilāmegha Jayabāhu. On palaeographic grounds, Senarath Paranavitana identified this king with Jayabāhu I, the younger brother of Vijayabāhu I. Although there is scholarly debate about the duration of Jayabāhu I’s reign, it is generally agreed to have begun around 1114 A.D. or slightly earlier, placing the date of this inscription sometimes around 1122. The inscription records that the officers of Vīrabāhudēvar, having inquired into former custom, upheld that the blacksmiths were entitled to the use of koṭṭacaḷu, foot-clothes and clothes for covering the faces of the dead and ordered the washermen to perform their services accordingly. Paranavitana identified the Vīrabāhu mentioned here with Mānābharaṇa, the father of Parākramabāhu I, since the Mahāvaṁsa tells us that Mānābharaṇa was also known by that name. The pillar was engraved by a person named Mākkaliṅgam Kaṇavadi and was attested by Kummaracena Nambaṉaṉ alias Vijayābaraṇaṉ. There are some more signatories, whose names cannot be satisfactorily made out.