Kurundumale Archaeological Reserve

Kurundumale is a site of a ruined Buddhist monastery situated in Kurundumale (කුරුන්දුමලේ) in Mullativu District, Sri Lanka.

During the Sri Lanka Civil War

Kurundumale Archaeological Reserve is located in the middle of a dense forest called Thannimuruppu. Since the 1980s, the area has been inaccessible to archaeologists or devotees due to the presence of members of the LTTE a militant group designated as a terrorist organization by a number of countries including Sri Lanka, India, and the United States of America and the EU. After the government forces defeated the LTTE in 2009, the site was again accessible to visitors.


To understand the importance of this site, we need to go back to the time of the arrival of the great Mahinda Thero to the country in 250 BC. The preaching of the Buddha were in the language of of Pali. Helatuwa consist of three Attakatha (අට්ඨකථා). These are Maha Attakathawa, Pachchari Attakathawa and Kurundi Attakathawa.It is believed that the Kurundi Attakatha has been documented in the Kurundavashoka Viharaya in Kurundumale. According to Mahavamsa, the Kurundavashoka Monastery has been built by king Kallatanaga and records various donations by king Aggabodhi I and king Vijayabahu.

In January 2021, the Department of Archeology started excavations at the site. During the excavations, a large number of Buddhist monuments including a ruined stupa, a statue house, a moon lamp, a lame stone, and fragments of a marble standing Buddha. The statue, the stone Buddha statue and the Bodhisattva statues were recovered from the site.

The ruins at the Kurundumale ( Kurundumalei) in Mulathivu district is such a place currently being fought by the politicians stating that this is a site of a Hindu Kovil and not a Buddhist site. The ruins of Kurundumale has been documented in an archaeological report of 1905. An inscription which was recorded at this site has now disappeared. In August 2013, this site was declared as a protected archaeological site by a gazette notification.

【Text by Lakpura™. Images by Google, copyright(s) reserved by original authors.】

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