Sabaragamuwa Maha Saman Devale is located in a prepossessing and beauteous land which is not farer than 2.5 km from Ratnapura-Panadura route, and its premises spread towards the river side of Kalu, one of the great rivers in Sri Lanka. Temples in the name of Sumana Saman deity (God Saman) was erected after Polonnaruwa reign. The first temple was constructed on Adam’s Peak, and, as “Sathara Devale”, four temples were assembled in four directions, namely Mahiyangana Saman Devale from east, Sabaragamuwa Maha Saman Devale from west, Bolthumbe Saman Devale from south and Daraniyagala Saman Devale from north. In Dambadeniya epoch, a minister of honorable erudite King Parakramabahu named “Aryakamadewayo” has come to Ratnapura for gems and has vowed Saman Devale to build a pagoda with three story mansion if he could treasure out gems. The epic “Saman Saritha” evidences this historical incidence and also the in the content of 20th page in the book “Katuwana-Mathara Satahana” provides details for this very important evidence. “Mahavansha” reveals that great thero lived in Sabaragamuwa have proceeded to the pinnacling ceremony of Ruvanweli Stupa and to a monk retreat held in Polonnaruwa. Also according to the content of “Saman Siritha”, a thero named Shilawansha has brought the sculpture of “Saman Deva”, which was in a cavern nearby Sri Pada compound, to Sapragrama temple and has calmed it there. Then only the Sapragrama temple was populated as “Saman Vehera”. Minister Aryakamadewa has found a massive stock of gems and thereby to keep his promise, he has built the current “Saman Devale”. In 20th page of Mathara Katuwana epic, the incidence is described like this; “This Saman Vehera, which is built in a charming and divine land that was filled with earth about 9 m high in the middle of a plane ground spread to the river side of “Kalu River”, was built in year 1226, by Minister Aryakamadewa, on order of ever-erudite King Parakramabahu”. Until the crummy coercion of Portuguese invaders have threatened the very existence of all the Buddhist temples and other religious places, the traditional rituals were safely kept on practicing till the end of Kotte epoch. In the period of King Rajasinghe I, reconstructing Saman Devale, which was under cover until then, and organizing processions were done. One of the great historical works of Sabaragamuwa Saman Devale is taking in procession the sacred tooth-relic that was calmed in Kotte to Degalgamu Vihara and holding the annual Saman Devale procession. King Parakramabahu VI has reconstructed this temple with the labour of Nilapperumal in 1415 A.D. spending 26000 silver. 26 land-grants and 360 fiefs have been offered to possess both temple and devale. All the essential equipment including celestial ornaments has been offered to Devale and an idol has also been carved there on a stone-slab. The lineal descendants of Nilapperumal have been called by the name “Vijaya Narayana” and appointed as sub-officiating priests of Saman Devale. Vijaya Narayana belongs to the Kapu generation in Veralupe. All these information is mentioned in the stone inscription at Sabaragamuwa Maha Saman Devale. After the demise of King Rajasinghe I, Portuguese have invaded Sabaragamuwa and destroyed Degalgamuwa Vihara, Pothugal Vihara, Saman Stupa and Devale. Epigraphs done by King Parakumba were also destroyed during this time. Thereafter, Portuguese built their own fortress and church in the glebe of Saman devale and turned this sacred place into an administrative centre. Knowing that Portuguese are planning to invade this place the officiating priest of Saman Devale has taken all the res divini, ornaments and sacred idols to a mount named “Idam Godella” located in north and has managed to do all the rituals there. The contemporary Saman Devale has been reconstructed and renovated by King Rajasinghe II. He who was famously known as God “Rasing” (shortened God Rajasingha) has defeated Portuguese, destroyed their churches and fortresses and rebuilt Saman Devale. The stone door-frame which was buried by Portuguese was found by him and set again to the main entrance of the master building. The other monoliths have been set as steps of the stair-case that subsides into the bank of Kalu River. Among all the historical materials that were there in the ancient Saman Devale, the stone door-frame is the only prehistoric antique remains today. Few pieces of stone-inscription that has been erected by King Parakumba VI have been fixed in the wall of Samanthi stage. There is a stone slab fixed to the wall of the temporary shed at the right side of Devale. In this stone slab, there is an image of a European who is holding a sword and a shield and a Sinhala soldier who has been defeated, lost his sword and captured by that European. Under that, a letter is inscribed in Portuguese and a Portuguese sign is also cut into the stone slab. This is the best evidence to prove that this place has been a battlefield during the foreign invasions in Sri Lanka.

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