Maligawila lies about 15 kilometres off the Buttala town towards Okkampitiya. Famous for its giant free standing buddha statue of the 7th century, this monument was found fallen and broken in to pieces in 1951. An attempt was made in 1974 to raise this statue and failed. But in 1980 a local engineering team was able to raise this statue and restore it back to the ancient glory. This statue is carved out of a single limestone rock and stands about 14.5 metres high. This is the tallest free standing buddha image in the country. This statue is thought to be done by a prince called Aggabodhi who ruled the "Rohana" region of Sri Lanka in the 7th century. There has been a image house surrounding this gigantic statue. The remains of this image house can still be seen.
About 500 metres away from this is another image carved from rock. This is thought to be the image of the Maithree Natha Bodhisattva also some times identified as Avalokithswara Bodhisattva. This image also called Dambegoda Bodhisattva statue.
Just left to the stair way to the Bodhisattva statue you will find a pillar inscription protected by a newly built structure. This stone pillar has been placed by the king Mahinda IV (956-972 AD) on his 10th year of reign. This inscription records the work done by the king for the upliftment of the Buddhism and has some rules laid down by him in Administration of Buddhist sites.
How to reach
You can reach the site from either Wellawaya or from Kataragama depending on which route you take.
You can reach Wellawaya in through many roads. If you are coming from Badulla or Bandarawela you must tale the Ella Road which lies between Badulla-Bandarawela Road. On the way you will also pass the beautiful Ravana Ella too on the way. There is a another road from Koslanda. Taking this road will take you through the 220 metre high waterfall Diyaluma. Koslanda lies between the Balangoda – Haputhale Road.
If you are coming from Kataragama, use the Buttala Road and the turn off is just before the Butala main junction. The temple is about 20 kms form the turn off from Buttala. From Buttala any person can direct you to the temple.
Maligawila - Source : http://www.buddhanet.net
Created : 2004