Sastrawela Mani Naga Pabbatha Viharaya
Currently the village of Sastrawela is a tiny speck of habitation situated on the Panama-Pottuvil Road. The village does not even make it into the Survey General’s map. Since the 1980’s many of its inhabitants have fled to Panama due to the unrest in the area. Yet back in the hay day of the Ruhunu Kingdom, Sastrawela was not only well known, but it was considered as an important seat of learning. According to folklore, the name Sastrawela is said to have been derived from the original name Shastraweiliya which indicates that the locality was associated with an institution of learning. The word ‘Shastra’ even roughly means a discipline or an art form. The area is said to have been the abode of many a soothsayer and scholars during ancient times. Legend says that scholars from far away kingdoms and even across the seas from India had travelled to Sastrawela to learn the various disciplines of science and astrology.