Monday, February 27, 2012

Magul Maha Viharaya - Lahugala, Sri Lanka

A photograph of the Moonstone at Magul Maha Viharaya in Lahugala, Sri Lanka
The Moonstone at Magul Maha Viharaya - Lahugala, Sri Lanka

While driving back form Arugam Bay, on the east coast of Sri Lanka, we took a detour to visit Magul Maha Viharaya, off Lahugala. This temple complex dates back to the 14th century when it was known as Ruhunu Maha Viharaya. It is said to have been built to commemorate the wedding of King Kavantissa and Vihara Maha Devi.

More photographs inside.

A photograph of the Moonstone at Magul Maha Viharaya in Lahugala, Sri Lanka
The Moonstone at Magul Maha Viharaya - Lahugala, Sri Lanka

The main archeological feature of this site is the moonstone which is the only moonstone in Sri Lanka featuring a human being. If you look closely at the image above, the second last Elephant at the bottom right hand corner of the photograph has a man perched on its back. I have heard that the people who lived in the local area around the 14th century were known for trapping Elephants and this could be the reason behind people appearing on this moonstone.

A photograph of the Poruwa at Magul Maha Viharaya in Lahugala, Sri Lanka
The "Poruwa" - Lahugala, Sri Lanka

The photograph above shows the site where King Kavantissa is said to have married Vihara Maha Devi. It is supposed to be a short walk through the forest to Muhudu Maha Viharaya in Arugam Bay where Vihara Maha Devi first came ashore on the south-east coast.

A photograph of a novice monk taken at magulmaha viharaya in Lahugala, Sri Lanka
The Novice Monk - Lahugala, Sri Lanka

Two novice monks, who couldn't have been over 10 - 12 years old, were living at the small temple on the site when we visited. They saw the camera and insisted on posing for a number of photographs during the two hours we spent there.

A photograph of two novice monks taken at Magul Maha Viharaya in Lahugala, Sri Lanka
The Novice Monks - Lahugala, Sri Lanka

I had the 7D with the 24-105mm lens on me when I walked around the temple complex. I would have liked to have spent a bit more time wandering around the place but we had a long drive to Yala with a stop scheduled at Maligawilla so we moved on.



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