Somawathiya Stupa, Polonnaruwa

#5 of 19 in Historic Sites in Polonnaruwa
Religious Site · Hidden Gem · Landmark
The Somawathiya Chaitya (Sinhala: සෝමාවතිය චෛත්‍ය, Tamil: சோமாவதிய சைத்யா) is a Buddhist Stupa situated in the ancient city of Polonnaruwa, Sri Lanka. Chaitya premises is called the Somawathiya Rajamaha Viharaya.
The Somawathiya Chaitya is located within the Somawathiya National Park on the left bank of the Mahaweli River, and is believed to have been built long before the time of Dutugamunu enshrining the right canine Relic of the tooth of the Buddha. It is attributed to the reign of King Kavan Tissa - Dutugemunu's father - who ruled Magama. Somawathiya is therefore much older than Ruwanwelisaya, Mirisawetiya Vihara or Jetavanaramaya.

The stupa is named after Princess Somawathi, the sister of King Kavantissa, and the wife of regional ruler Prince Giri Abhaya. The prince built the stupa to enshrine the right tooth relic of the Buddha, obtained from Arahat Mahinda, and named the stupa after the princess. Upon completion of the stupa and other constructions, the prince and princess handed over the temple to Arahat Mahinda and other monks.

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  • Crown of the Polonnaruwa area . This ancient stupa is built for another tooth relic of Lord Buddha . Easy access as the road is newly renovated . A must visit for any buddhist visiting Polonnaruwa...  more »
  • Polonnaruwa never ceases to amaze. The place is filled with monuments and icons of cultural significance.  more »
  • Its calm place and beautiful place..those days it was hard to go , now road is very good.. all the places clear with jungle.. white temple , there is big car park..
  • Ancient temple in the jungle which is supposedly protected by herds of wild elephants. The road is now sealed to the temple but I stopped around midday because there was a wild elephant beside the road. I only saw the temple but apparently there are lots of ancient ruins around the temple.
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