Dedigama Kota Vehera
This stupa has been built by king Parakramabahu the Great ( 1153-1186) as a memorial on the location he was born.
In 1070 prince Vijayabahu defeated the Chola invaders who ruled Polonnaruwa and brought the country under a single ruler. While he made his capital Polonaruwa, his sister Mitta's son Manabharana was appointed as a sub-king in Ruhuna. His wife Ratnavali was the daughter of King Vijayabahu I. Later a prince called Veerabahu invaded the Ruhuna region and Manabharana escaped to Dedigama then called Punkagama. Manabharana then ruled the Maya Region with Dedigama as the administrative capital. It is here when the queen Rathnavali delivered the baby boy who later became the Parakramabahu the Great ( 1153-1186).
This stupa has not being subject to any major renovation but during excavations it has been found that the stupa is built on top of another smaller stupa. The smaller stupa was found closer to the pesa walalu on the eastern side. This was 36 feet in diameter. It has been found that that both these stupas has been built around the same time. It is believed that the smaller stupa has been built on the exact place there the birth took place and and then a bigger stupa was built around it. The diameter of the bigger stupa is 256 feet and it is 47 feet high. The top of the stupa is flat and covers about 26,000 square feet.
Although it is unknown what relic was enshrined in this stupa, a massive amount of relics have been recovered in it 10 relic chambers. Out of these, the most significant is the metal Elephant Lamp.
Turn to right at the Nelumdeniya junction at the 41st mile post on the Colombo Kandy Road. The stupa can be reached by traveling about 2 1/2 kilometres on this road.
February 17, 2007