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Veli Vehera  -   N 08.30487, E 079.89754-       Other Name : Valei-vihara
Veli Vehera
06/23/2017
Veli Vehera
06/23/2017
Veli Vehera
06/23/2017
Veli Vehera
06/23/2017
Veli Vehera
06/23/2017
Veli Vehera
06/23/2017
Veli Vehera
06/23/2017
Veli Vehera
06/23/2017
Veli Vehera
06/23/2017
Veli Vehera
06/23/2017
Veli Vehera
06/23/2017
Veli Vehera
06/23/2017
Veli Vehera
06/23/2017

According to Paranavithana (1956), Veli Vehera is about one mile to the east of Pomparippu Urn Burial site.  A donative inscription in 8th Century Singhalese on one of the terrace slabs (Maluwa) revealed during excavations carried by Paranavithana refers to the site as Vali –vehera, which in Pali would be Valei-vihara. According to the Mahavansa, King Subha built this stupa in the vicinity of Uruwela Nagara, which was founded by Uruwela, successor to King Vijaya as well as the brother of Badda-chachchayana. In another story King Dutugemunu, who built so many stupa’s in Anuradapura area, is also associated with this location as it is said that he obtained pearls from Uruwela (Geiger1960). Paranavithana identified the present Kala Oya river mouth area between Eluwankulama and Pomparippu as Uruwela.

Among the objects that has been found at Veli Vehera includes some early coins, a silver “punch marked” coin and two copper pieces of the mane-less lion type and a highly corroded Roman coin. In addition another non-Brahmic inscription had been recoded from this site, which is believed to be in Kaka language (Vithana 1987).

In the 1970’s Sarath Wattala conducted an excavation on this site to conserve the stupa and subsequently unearthed a Buddha statue, which is believed to be mentioned in the above-mentioned Kaka inscription.

On the 23rd of June 2017 I visited this site. Having set off on foot with armed DWC officers from Eluwankulama office around 11am we managed to reach the location close to 12noon. (This is possible, as I have been granted a research permit from the DWLC, which enables me to be on foot inside the park with DWC guards). This ancient site is situated about 2 km from the Eluwankulama office. As there is no clear road to the site we had to take animal tracks and creep through thorny bushes to reach the location. When we arrived at the location I was thrilled to see that parts of the perimeter wall of this ancient stupa (Chaithyaya) was still intact. As with many unprotected archeological sites in the jungles of Sri Lanka, the stupa had been dug in to by treasure hunters. The area around the stupa (Maluwa) had been terraced with granite slabs. There are two sitting posture Buddha statutes at the site. The treasure hunters have destroyed the heads and arms of both of them.  Part of the steps to reach the stupa, granite slabs to offer flowers and granite structures to drain water from the compound are seen at the location. I was pleased to have visited this ancient site, as even during the comprehensive study that was conducted by the IUCN in 2006 the team had not been able to trace this site.

(Resource Inventory of Wilpattu National Park – the Final Report – World Conservation Union (IUCN) Sri Lanka December 2006.) GPS reading of Veli Vehera  N 08.30487, E079, 89754.