The Sea Temple – The maha viharaya, said to have been built in the first century by King Mahadeelimana alias Maha Dadika, was one of the main shrines in the Ruhunu Dynasty. According to the legend, Princess Devi, the daughter of King Kelanitissa, fell to the sea to save her country from being damaged by the sea. However, it is said that the vessel she was carrying was in a hurricane and floated down to the summit of Ruhuna. According to the story of the Sinhalese people at Panam Pattu, the Devi had floated to the sea temple near the present Pottuvil. The claim that King Kawantissa had made this news when he was appointed by the Ruhunu government to come and accept the princess Devi in his place was not easily dismissed.
According to folklore, a large shrine called Lanka Viharaya was built there. It is a matter of great concern whether the temple was a creation of King Kavantissa. Magulmaha Viharaya is the other important shrine located on the Moneragala road in Pottuvil. It is famous as the place where Princess Devi and Raju got married. Among the reasons for this is the presence of an anointed tabernacle. The text of an inscription in this article also provides the reasons for that view. Vihara Mahadevi, the king of Sri Siri Lakdi, who was born to the two sons of Parakumba Deba, who ruled the country, had been wiped out with the insulation of the soil. It is worth mentioning that the Vihara Devi Pirivena which I have done in my name should be performed in the same manner as the King and the King in whom all these blessings are made. Prof. Senarath Paranavithana has decided that the inscription on this inscription belongs to the Gampola era. He says that the two king’s sons are Parakumba Fifth and Buwanekaba VI.
It is reasonable to conclude that the Viharamahadevi’s thesis has been strengthened in some way due to this inscription in the place. But it is more justifiable to balance the archeological evidence with the folkloric evidence as there are two deities in the Runa Rata country. In the city’s archives, this pavilion was identified as a Bodhi Poraja S is. However, the sea was covered with sand during the Maha Vihara. The Pottuvil coastal area has been subjected to frequent sea erosion and the land belonging to the temple has been damaged. The ruins were covered with sandstone. The sea monument was rediscovered during a search of artifacts by white officials during the British rule in Ceylon.
At that time Panam Pattu lived in a very small community. It was home to around eighty thousand Muslim settlers, who had settled here under the orders of King Senarath and settled in the vicinity of Pottuvil. They also owned several lands near the Maha Vihara. Prof. Senarath Paranavitana in the New Fifties when he explored the Eastern Province. The land including the sea temple was also converted into an archeological reserve. That was in the Gazette of January 26, 1951. Seventy-two acres, three roods, and thirteen perches belong to this reserve. Excavations and excavations were commenced in 1975 after the reserve was identified. Therefore, on 28th May 1965, the sea was declared as a reserve of the Maha Vihara. Its area was thirty acres, three roods, and thirteen perches.
When Mr. Raja de Silva was the Commissioner of Archeology, the excavation was earmarked. During the excavations, a statue house belonging to the later era of Anuradhapura and an idol house were found. In addition, two ruins and dagobas which had been covered by sand in the Pottuvil beach were identified. The statue contains a statue of Bodhisattva of royalty and a statue of Maithriya, which were preserved after excavation. It was later discovered that the head of the Buddha statue had been taken away by somebody and taken to a stone stove in the house of the archaeological watchman. Further investigations have to be carried out on this temple premises and the identity of the temple should be verified. The Venerable Tangalle Siri Sunanda Thera who came to know the significance of this temple came here in the year 1980 and built a small house in the vicinity of the ancient Bodhi Tree. Thereafter, two Buddhist monks called Tangalle Jivananda and Saddha Nanda lived there. Kataragama Sirirathna Thero had come to the Maha Viharaya and lived in the midst of the tiger terrorist uprising and was defending the shrine. When the entrance to the road was named as the Maha Vihara Mawatha, the board had been removed and renamed the Masjithul Phalaf Mawatha. The Musalmans acted.
As a result, the pilgrims and the Lord were in constant persecution. A Muslim watcher in charge of the archeological reserve once incited a group of Muslims to harass Katharagama Sirirathna Thero. In this manner, no one took action against the steps taken by the Divisional Secretary to seize the seven acres of land that the Tigers had acquired during the time of terror. Ven. Warakapola Indrasiri Thero who was appointed as the Viharadhipathi after Ven. Kataragama Siri Ratana Thero is currently engaged in a major task for the development of the sea temple. In the meantime, in the year 2012, the Muslims had come here one day and caused a great uproar due to the old chaitya dorsa under the sand. In this situation, the government could not do more. In parallel to the ‘Deyata Kirula’ celebrations in Ampara, the development of the maha Viharaya was commenced and a new Buddha shrine was opened. You have to get the services of a force.