The Southern province of Sri Lanka known as Ruhuna, in ancient times, have a significant amount of heritage sites that made a mark in Sri Lanka’s history. The Southern capital of ancient Sri Lanka, Mahagama (now Thissamaharama), is as old as the city of Anuradhapura. Ancient Ruhuna with its harbours was an important link in the so-called Silk Route of the sea. According to the chronicle, in the 3rd century BC King Mahanaga founded the city Mahagama and established his kingdom there. Today it rises as a rectangular hill from a flat plain and is called Akurugoda.


The Most Attractive Places in Thissamaharamaya


Tissa-stupaTissamaharama Stupa

The Thissamaharama monastery is the most distinctive vihara in the city of Magama in Ruhuna. According to ancient texts it is said that there were twelve thousand Buddhist monks in this monastery around the first century AD. The original monarch of Ruhuna, King Kavanthissa, built the monastery for the monks in the Theravada sect and also placed Tooth Relic of Buddha here. Excavations at this site and its conservation have been conducted by the Central Cultural Fund.


Sandagiri-Monastery--2Sandagiri Monastery

Located 330 meters to the East of the Thissamaharama moastery is the Sandagiriya. It is part of the main East-West axis that connects the four main stupas in Ruhuna which are Manik, Yatala, Tissamaharama and Sandagiriya. Believed to have been originally built by King Mahanaga and later reconstructed by King Kawantissa the Sandagiri monastery is the one closest to the Thissamaharama monastery. Excavations at this site revealed a large Bodhi Gara which was built when one of the eight seedlings of the Sri Maha Bodhi Tree was ceremoniously planted in the vicinity. Apart from the stupaya ruins of an image house, a stone pillar with inscriptions and other buildings can be explored.