Deegavapi Stupa

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Prasanna Siriwardana - Google

Deegawapiya or Deegavapi stupa is among the sixteen most sacred places in Sri Lanka. Magavamsa and Dipavamsa chronicles suggest that Gautama Buddha visited Deegavapi with 500 followers during his third visit to Sri Lanka, Later the stupa was built on the exact place where he sat and meditated in the 2rd-century BC by King Saddatissa. Located in the middle of large paddy fields the area looks amazing and gives you a glimpse of Sri Lankan culture.

It was believed that this is one of the earliest inhabited areas in Sri Lanka where Yakkas lived. There have been many ancient inscriptions discovered in the area, an important inscription made of a gold leaf was discovered which refers to King Kannittha Tissa who reigned from 164 to 192 CE. 

It was believed that Prince Saddhatissa after making peace with Prince Dutugemunu was appointed in charge of this region and he discovered this temple and built the stupa enshrining relics of Buddha. However the temple was built earlier during his father’s reign. 

During the “Beminitiya Seya” the great famine which lasted for 12 years in the 2nd-century the temple and the stupa got neglected. 

The massive stupa can be seen in a ruined state now, with renovations in progress.