Hatthikuchchi Viharaya, Mahagalkadawala

#10 of 11 in Historic Sites in North Western Province
Hatthikuchchi Viharaya is a ruined ancient temple complex situated on the northern border of the North Western Province (Wayamba), Sri Lanka 3.5 km away from the Mahagalkadawala junction on the Padeniya – Anuradhapura (A28) road.
The name 'Hatthikuchchi' is a pali word meaning 'Elephant Stomach' . Its closest Sinhalese name is 'ඇත්කුස් වෙහෙර' 'Eth Kus wehera' . This names has been given because of a large rock inside the temple complex which resembles an elephant.
The Temple complex is considered to have been built by King Devanampiyatissa (307–267 BC) and one of the oldest Buddhist temple complexes in the country. Later for various reasons this complex was forgotten and by the time of king Sirisangabo this was covered with jungle.
It has been taken into consideration that this was the location where King Sirisangabo (251–253 AD) offered his own head to a peasant. Previously it was widely considered that this incident took place at Attanagalla in Gampaha district now most scholars have raised the argument that this must be the place that it really took place.
Main reason for this idea was that, in the story it says the peasant walked half a day from Anuradhapura towards the south where he met the former king Sirisangabo. Since 'Hatthikuchchi Viharaya' is only 38.5 km from Anuradhapura rather than Attanagalla which is 170 km from Anuradhapura there is a better chance this is the actual place the incident took place.
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  • Located in the picturesque landscape covering 300 acres, Hatthikuchchi Aramic complex ( also referred as Hatthikucchi, Hastikuchchi, Hasti Kuchchi and Rajanganaya Ruins) dates back to 3 rd century...  more »
  • A group of 18 of us, travelling with ‘Flamingo Lanka’ visited this archaeological Hatthikuchchi location on 12th December 2017. A guide from the Department of Archaeology based at the site joined us....  more »
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Side trips from Mahagalkadawala

Duration:1​h 30​min