Archive for the ‘Suthigara Cheythya (stupa/dagoba)Dedigama Kota Vehera’ Category

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Suthigara Cheythya (stupa/dagoba) also known as Dedigama Kota Vehera

July 5, 2011

The Suthigara dagoba (a dome-shaped shrine that contains Buddhist relics [Early 19th century. Via
Sinhalese dāgaba<Pali dhātu-gabbha "receptacle for relics"]) gets its name from the word
suthikagaraya meaning place of birth. Queen Rathnavali gave birth to a baby boy at this spot. This
boy was to later become Parakramabahu the Great (1153-1186).
Major renovations have not been carried out on this dagoba though it is regularly weeded and
damaged bricks replaced when necessary, helping maintain its ancient austere look. Over the years
excavations revealed that the dagoba is built on top of another smaller dagoba. The smaller dagoba
found closer to the pesa walalu (concentric perimeter rings going around the dagoba) on the eastern
side is 36 feet in diameter. Later it was discovered that both the larger outer dagoba and the smaller
one housed inside had been built around the same time.
Popular belief is that the smaller dagoba is built on the exact place that Queen Rathnavali gave birth
to Parakramabahu the Great. The diameter of the bigger dagoba is 804 feet and it is 47 feet high.
The top of the dagoba is purposefully flat and covers about 26,000 square feet. Although an exact
record of what relics were enshrined has not surfaced a large quantity of relics were found. These
relics were recovered from 10 relic chambers. To get an idea of what the relic chambers looked like
and how they were constructed you may see it in the museum next door. Of all the relics found in
the 10 chambers the most significant is the extremely beautiful and rare elephant lamp which can
also be seen at the museum. Remember to get a guide to explain how the lamp was crafted and
especially the ingenious way in which it works. The museum which was started originally as a place
to house artefacts from the Suthigara dagoba, later was expanded to become a museum displaying
artefacts and information about heritage and other historical sites of the entire Kegalle district.

Directions and location

On the Colombo Kandy Road turn from the Nelumdeniya junction at the 41st mile post. You will
reach the dagoba after about 2.5 kilometres. If you’re not sure whether you’ve taken the right turn
after Nelumdeniya junction just ask any of the villagers around, they will be more than willing to
help.

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Kegalle District

June 29, 2011
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