Sri Lanka is an island which has a number of interesting sites of worship. The country’s vibrant culture and heritage can be wonderfully seen in the ancient monuments which are located in many regions.
Story of The Dambakola Patuna Temple
Buddhism has played a crucial role in shaping the culture and traditions of the land ever since it was introduced to Sri Lanka by Arahantha Mahinda Thero in the 3rd century BC. A year after the arrival of Arahantha Mahinda Thero, who was the son of Emperor Ashoka of India, Theri Saghamitta, the daughter of Emperor Ashoka, arrived in the island with a sapling of a sacred Bo tree, under which Lord Buddha achieved Enlightenment. This sacred sapling which was soon planted in Anuradhapura is known as Jaya Sri Maha Bodhiya. It is one of the most venerated sites of worship in the country. Jaya Sri Maha Bodhiya is known to be the oldest tree in the world with a known planted date.
The spot where Theri Sanghamitta landed was worshipped by ancient Buddhists. This is where the present day Dambakola Patuna Temple is located. The temple, which was named Jambukola Viharaya was built by King Devanampiyatissa. One of the eight shoots of the sacred Bo tree which was brought to Sri Lanka was also planted by the king on the premises of the temple.
The present day Dambakola Patuna temple unfortunately has very little historic significance. Most of the buildings here were built by the Navy. The brilliant white stupa here was built by the navy in just 65 days! The Bo tree which is found onsite was also planted by the Navy in recent years.
If you are traveling in Jaffna, you really have to pay this site a visit as it is one of the very few Buddhist temples in the region. Get in touch with Green Holiday Centre if you want to have a tour arranged to it.