Mahiyangana Raja Maha Viharaya

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Chamara Jayaruwan - Google

A stupa built on the land of Yakkas by a Yakka chieftain named Saman, and later expanded enshrining the larynx relic of Gautama Buddha. Mahavamsa records reveals that after nine months from attaining enlightenment Gautama Buddha visited Sri Lanka, and delivered a sermon at Mahiyangana. Saman first a Yakka chieftain, and later was regarded as a Buddhist deity, attained “Sotapanna” which is the first stage of the path to Nirvana. God Saman built a small stupa enshrining a handful of hair relics of Buddha. The stupa was originally 10 feet high.

After Buddha’s parinirvana in the 6th-century BC, his larynx was brought to Sri Lanka by an Arhat named Sarabhu. Under his guidance the original stupa was enlarged to be of 18 feet tall and the larynx relic was also enshrined in the same stupa.
In the 2nd-century BC King Dutugemunu of Anuradhapura again renovated and enlarged the stupa recording it to be about 120 feet tall. Later several other kings including Voharika Tissa, Sena II, Vijayabahu I and Kiriti Sri Rajasinha carried out renovations and repairs at the stupa.

Being one of the places where the Buddha himself had visited this temple is regarded as the first of the sixteen most sacred places in Sri Lanka. You will have to wear appropriately when visiting, and walk barefooted around the stupa. The rock platform around the stupa gets blistering hot during the day.

A common sight in front of the temple is the Veddha traders selling various souvenirs including bullhorn rings, peacock features, grams like kurakkan, mineri etc. You will see the shirtless men seated by the sides of the road with their axes, they call it galrakki in Vedda language.