At the southern end of Badulla stands the Muthiyangana Vihara whose origins date back 5th Century BC. Buddha is believed to have visited Lanka for the third time, on the eighth year following the supreme enlightenment. King Indaka of pre-historic (meaning prior to our recorded history) tribe Deva (one of the three tribes believed have inhabited Lanka, the other tribes being Yakka & Naga) built Muthiyangana stupa at the location where Buddha is believed to have made the sermons. The stupa was developed into a temple complex by a succession of Sinhalese kings commencing from King Devanam Piya Tissa (307-266 BC), The Deer Hunter, the first Sinhalese convert to Buddhism
Dragon Arch at the entrance
The ancient Makara Torana (Dragon Arch) hasn’t been dated. Mythological figures Vamana (a non-human ape like tribe believed have existed in India), Lion like beasts, bulls with very prominent humps decorate an arch unlike any other in Lanka.
Main Image House
Once again at the entrance to main image house (the house of status) is a colourful dragon arch with a statue of Maitree Bodhisattva, the next Buddha to be, according to the Mahayana Buddhism. The past Buddhas were Kakusanda, Konagama, Kassapa & Gauthama.
Guardian of the Muthiyangana
To the right of the image house is a statue of god Indaka, the guardian deity of Namunukula mountain range & Muthiyanga. Following his death, king Indaka of Naga tribe was elevated to a deity (most possibly, a superior being in another planet in cosmos) by virtue of his meritorious deeds. That is action & reaction. Lovely.
The stupa enshrines Sacred Kesha Datu, a lock of pure & blue-black, (Perhaps such could be the colour of the hair of an Asian man of perfect of health & purest of thought. Then again medieval Sinhalese poetry praising lissom women of matchless grace never fail to emphasise the colour of hair as bluish black) & Mutukuda datu (solidified sweat) of Buddha. The present 65m tall stupa with a diameter of 90m is a reconstruction of the original stupa. The moonstone at the entrance to the stupa is of Anurdadhapura Era.
The first Bo tree in to the temple complex called Maliyadeva bodhi is believed to be exact location where the last Maha Arhath (the enlightened one, who has broken free from the cycle of suffering of birth, & rebirth) Maliyadeva made the sermons on his visit to Muthiyangana. The second, Ananda Bodhi is believed to be brought from Jetavanarama in India. The third, Dethispala Sri Maha Bodhi was planted by King Devanam Piya Tissa.This is one of the 32 Bo trees originated from Sri Maha bodhi tree at Anuradhapura. It is well protected by the original fence & another newly built gold plated fence.