Tissamaharama

Sandagiri Seya

Sandagiri Seya can be seen about a mile (1.6 km) away from Tissawewa, in close proximity to Tissamaharama vihara. It is regarded as one of the most ancient chaityas in Ruhuna. Chronicles suggest that either "Yuwa Raja" (Deputy King) Mahanaga or King Kawantissa had built it. Some historians believe that Chandanagama wherein resided the "Kshatriyas" who had attended the ceremonies connected with the planting of the Bo sapling at Anuradhapura was located in close proximity to Sandagiri seya. An inscription of King Vasabha (67-111 A.D) refers to a Sabbath House - Poya Ge built here and also says that a part of the income from Duratissa Wewa was allocated to this vihara. It was reconstructed by King Vijayabahu I (1055-1110 A.D).

A reference to the Sandagiri seya found in an ancient folk verse suggests that a collosal Buddhist mansion had been constructed within the premises of Sandagiri seya. A small Buddha statue in meditation pose has been found here. A “Dakshinawrutta Sankha” or a shell (or conch) with a right bend had been found within the dilapidated remains of this chaitya. The significance of this conch is that it has been presented to King Devanmpiyatissa by the then king of India – Asoka, who had established very close ties with each other. The conch was a symbol of royal kingship in India and this royalty was handed over to King Devanampiyatissa. Thus he became the first consecrated king in Sri Lanka.

During the regime of Honorable R. Premadasa an outer wall had been built on to the dilapidated stone wall, but this wall broke and presently the stones have been stacked beside the chaitya. It is obtrusive that the dilapidated state of Sandagiri seya is incomparable to the majesty of Tissamaharama, Yatala and Menik chaityas.