Lack of Archaeological Department attention:
Buddhama cave temple facing destruction
The historic Buddhama cave temple in the Siyabalanduwa divisional
secretariat division is facing destruction due to the lack of attention
by the Archaeological Department.
Chief Incumbent of Buddhama Rajamaha
Viharaya Ven Panamyaye Rathanasara Thera inspecting the
The mural paintings of the temple which have been dated back to the
Kandyan era, are in danger of destruction as the Department has drawn
little attention to the temple, says Chief Incumbent Ven. Panamyaye
"This is one of the oldest cave temples in the region. I have written
to the Department over this pathetic situation several times that the
temple needs urgent conservation without any reply," the Thera said.
The country's longest Welipihilla - which is used by the Buddhist
monks to teach Sinhala and Pali languages to the members of the
Mahasangha and the ordinary people, is on the verge of collapse due to
lack of proper conservation. The Thera said that the temple cannot
conserve it as it has been declared an archaeological site and the
Department should take urgent action to conserve it.
"This is the longest Welipihilla in the country and it is on the
verge of collapse as rainwater is seeping to the wall", the thera said.
Ven Rathanasara Thera said the temple has one of the oldest reclining
Buddha statues which was damaged by the treasure hunters several years
ago. A Buddha statue made of gold has also been taken away by the
treasure hunters. Temple has hundreds of paintings in the cave which
need urgent conservation. These paintings in the cave depict the various
stages of the Buddha's life. Ven Rathanasara Thera said there are more
than 11 caves where the Buddhist monks in the past had meditated. "This
place had been a prominent Buddhist educational institute in the past,"
the thera added.
The artifacts of the temple are strewn in every nook and corner of
the temple without proper conservation and hundreds of Ola leaves at the
temple are also on the verge of destruction due to lack of proper
The Thera was of the view that the department should look into the
places of historical importance in the Uva Wellassa region as the area
had been neglected by the authorities for centuries. "Many temples in
the region were vandalized by the treasure hunters ", he said