Maha Vishnu Devalaya

The Vishnu Devalaya at Hanguranketha is one of the main devalaya’s of the Kandyan Era. Although the origin of this devalaya is unknown, this devalaya has had the  patronage bof y King Rajasinghe II (1635 – 1687), Wimaladharmasuriya II (1687 – 1707) and Kirti Sri Rajasinhe (1747 – 1781) of the Kandyan kingdom.

During the great Uva Wellassa Rebellion in 1818 against the British occupation of the country, this devalaya had been used as a fort by the British and had suffered some damage. It is said that King Rajasinghe II had been cremated at Hanguranketha close to the Vishnu Devalaya  and thereafter his ashes deposited at a site near Adahana Maluwa Gedige in Kandy.
The Department of Archaeology commenced an excavation in search of this tomb of Rajasinghe II in 2014 on a site in the Mahamaluwa of Vishnu Devalaya in Hanguranketha. The objectives of the excavation were to ascertain the historical importance to the site and to determine the actions to be taken to conserve it.

According to Department of Archaeology there had been a lithic monument on the site which had later been destroyed during the 1980s to develop the Hanguranketha town. The monument comprised four stone pillars and a quadrangle stone tablet placed on them. There was a symbol of lion inscribed on one corner of the tablet. There are some remnants of this monument at that place today. The lion is the symbol used to denote royalty.


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