The historical terrain is situated in Dedigama village in Warakapola Divisional Secretariat. The thupa is located adjacent to 3rd km post in Galapitamada road which runs from Nelumdeniya junction deviating from Colombo-Kandy main route.


Villagers call the place as “Weherawaththa”. The tope is the very reason behind its fame. As the chronicle mentions Dedigama Kotawehera alias Soothighara Stupa was erected at the birth place of a great King in Sri Lankan history; King Maha Parakramabahu (1153-1186 A.D.).


The stupa does not have a turret. Hence it was named as “Kotawehera”. The tope would count 15 m high and 268 m circumference. The flat peak would measure 2415.7 sq. m. The stupa which does not stand unto turret contains only try-circle terrace and repository. Some archaeologists consider it as a special structure of tope without turret. The place is mentioned in “Choolawanshaya” as “Punkhagama” that is in Sinhala “Pilagama”. In several places terrain is called as “Gnathigama”. “Dethigama” in “Thisara Sandeshaya” and “Jathigrama” in “Wruththamala Sandeshaya” are someother different references. However, the place name “Dedigama” might have originated in relation to the name “Punkhagama”.


When converting “Punkhagama” into Sinhala it might have become “Dethigama”. Later Dethigama might have changed into Dedigama. The tope has been erected encompassing a small stupa, though the small one is positioned rather to the east direction instead of centering. The diameter of fetters would measure 8.1 m. The small tope was created in a way to begin little below the fetters of major tope and to end little beyond the third circle of the terrace of large stupa.


King Maha Parakramabahu has kinged Maya Rata at a time when the apparent heir; Parakumba was a regional head. He has erected a small stupa in his birth place and after becoming the King of the island the small tope was replaced with a large stupa, which is known as Kotawehera today.


Prof. Charles Godakumbura, a former Assistant Commissioner of the Department of Archaeology has done a research about Kotawehera and has started excavating the terrain. Lots of information has been uncovered through these excavations. It has been discovered that the stupa contains 10 repositories. The first repository is mentioned to be opened on 12th December, 1951. The first repository is positioned 4 m deep from the peak and the second repository is located 4.4 m deep from the feet of the first. There are 8 other repositories encompassing the second repository.


The famous “Eth Pahana” can be introduced as one of the precious antiquities found in the first repository. As it resembles to an image of an elephant the antiquity is called “Eth Pahana”. Archaeologists interpret it as one of the invaluable antiquities discovered through excavations done in Kotawehera.


Simple line drawings have been painted in a thin layer of plaster at upper and lower parts of the walls of secondary group of repositories. Among these paintings human and animal images, images of gods and flower designs can be seen and they have been painted as marginal line drawings using “Rathhiriyal” alias cinnabar. Reviewers interpret that these paintings draw parallels almost with murals at “Thiwanka Pilimage” in Polonnaruwa. Among all the antiquities discovered in the repository, the structure of lotus shaped stupa; the two bronze Eth Pahanas and the tooth relic embedded with gem are significant.


Besides, images of Lord Buddha, crystal reliquary, cobra forms, coins, clay vessels, bronze and clay lamps and more structures of lotus shaped stupa have been discovered. As well the stone slab inscribed “Wattaha Jathaka” that belongs to 12th century and the stone creation that enunciate Mt. Meru stone (Maha Meru Gala) were found from this place of history.


The note written in a diary by Mr. H.F. Prise, a former assistant government agent in visiting Kotawehera on 17th December, 1886, is the first citation done about Dedigama Kotawehera.


Then the first commissioner of archaeology; Mr. H.C.P. Bell has cited about the Dedigama sanctuary in the book named “Kegalu Warthava” (Report of Kegalle) written by himself in 1894. An inscription that belongs to Dedigama Rajamaha vihara done by King Buwanekabahu VI (1469-1476) can also be seen in the center of the paddy field adjacent to Kotawehera. Most of the discovered antiquities are exhibited in the museum located in Dedigama.

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