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A.D. He has expressed his approval of this identification, and has held it up as an example of the critical acumen of the modern Sinhalese students of their country's history. I may add that if their judgment is correct in this case it is almost the solitary instance in which they have cleared up a single doubtful point in the history of Ceylon.
Dr. Copleston has explained how, by a mistaken reading of the manuscript of the Mahāvansa, or through defective copies, the learned editors of the Sinhalese edition-not, I think, an independent translation from the Pāli language, but an amended edition of an early manuscript-made the distance of Siriwaḍḍhana-nuwara from Dambadeniya aṭṭha, 'eight,' yōjanas, instead of aḍḍha, half,' a yōjana. The translator of the English edition followed the same reading, and made the distance eight yōjanas. The author of the Pūjāvaliya also adhered to this distance.
The statements in the Bishop's summary tend to show that Siriwaḍdhana-nuwara had been wrongly supposed to be much further from Dambadeniya than was really the case, and that the highway the lavish decorations of which are fully described in the history of the Festival of the Toothrelic of Buddha (Mah., ii, p. 286), instead of being many miles in length was in reality a very short one.
In connection with this identification he remarked that the length of the yōjana is twelve miles (p. 488), but this is not in accordance with the latest researches. Several estimates have been made of this distance. At first it was supposed to be sixteen miles: this was afterwards reduced to twelve miles, as given by Mr. Childers in his Pāli Dictionary; and an estimate by Professor Rhys Davids in his work On the Ancient Coins and Measures of Ceylon, p. 17, made it between seven and eight miles. This, however, depends chiefly on Indian distances. The Mahavansa contains several references to it, some of which may assist in showing what this measure of length was in Ceylon.
When King Duṭṭha-Gāmiņi was about to build the Ruwanwaeli dāgaba at Anuradhapura, we are told (p. 106) that some silver was discovered at Ambaṭṭha-kōla-now called on account
of it, Ridi-gama, the Silver Village,' in the North-western Province-which is stated to be eight yōjanas from Anurădhapura. The actual distance in a straight line is 553 miles. If we add one-tenth on account of the windings of the road we get 60.8 miles, or a length of 7 miles for a yōjana.
Uruwēla city is also said (p. 107) to be five yōjanas from Anuradhapura. The distance in a direct line to the mouth of the Malwatta-oya, near which it may have been built, is 45.6 miles. Adding one-tenth again the distance becomes 50.1 miles, which makes the yōjana 10 miles. The sea due west of Anuradhapura, at Ponparippu, is 39.2 miles away; this, with the same addition, would make the yōjana about 8 miles if Uruwela were there, and on the shore, at the point on the coast which lies nearest to the capital. Thus, in this instance we have a maximum of 10 miles and a minimum of 8 miles, as the possible length.
Pēlivāpi is stated (p. 107) to be seven yōjanas north of Anuradhapura. This tank is the reservoir now called Vavunik-kulam, formed by raising an embankment across the valley of the Pāli-āru, on which no other tank is known. The river at the breach in the embankment is 51.2 miles from the capital, and the addition of one-tenth makes the yōjana 8 miles.
We also learn (p. 106) that going seven yōjanas eastward from Anuradhapura takes us into the district across the lower part of the Mahawaeli-ganga. Measuring up to any part of the river there the general distance is about the same, that is, 56 miles; so that when one-tenth is added the yōjana becomes in this case a little over 8 miles. Professor Davids adds a little more to allow for the winding of the path; it would of course increase the length of the yōjana slightly if this were done.
Although these are only approximate estimates in the Mahāvansa, they agree so closely that the mean length of the yōjana found by them may be accepted as being nearly correct when applied to similar records of distances in Ceylon. If, as I believe, Uruwela was near the mouth of the Malwatta-oya, the mean length of the yōjana becomes 8 miles. This is not necessarily the actual length of a measured yōjana; it is prob
ably the length ascertained by the time occupied in walking from one place to another.
The identification of Nanbambaraya village as the site of Siriwaḍḍhana-nuwara depends on three statements in the history :—firstly, the distance of the place from Dambadeniya, variously given as half a yōjana and eight yōjanas, neither of which agrees with the actual distance of the village from the capital; secondly, the statement that before his accession to the throne Parakrama-Bahu II lived at Nanbambaraya; and thirdly, another statement that his wife, who of course lived there with him, was termed the Siriwaḍdhana Bisawa (queen).
According to the Mahāvansa, he himself was born at Siriwaḍḍhana; thus the third piece of evidence merely shows that he married a lady whose native place was the same as his own. The second statement would be of value only if the traces of some early city, and of the temple to which the Tooth-relic was taken, had been discovered at Nanbambaraya; but regarding this point the Sinhalese scholars furnish no information, although it is one that they could easily investigate. Without this support the whole argument hangs in the air, awaiting the construction of some solid foundation on which it may rest. All is paper evidence of an unconvincing type. Although much has been written to show that in the opinion of the writers Siriwaḍḍhana-nuwara ought to be at Nanbambaraya, there is not a line to prove that it really was there.
The evidence seemed to me so unsatisfactory that I made careful enquiry into the matter from the Kōrāla, or chief of that district, who knew the country well, and lived in the neighbourhood. He informed me that there is no local tradition that Siriwaḍdhana-nuwara was in that part of the country, or that the Tooth-relic was ever deposited at any place in the district excepting Dambadeniya. He knew of no traces of any ancient city anywhere round that town. As a matter of fact, he and all others whom I interrogated on the subject stated that the people of the district had always understood that Siriwaḍdhana-nuwara was not there, but in the Wanni Hat Pattu, which extends between the Daeduru
oya and the Kala-oya. This might merely point to the ancient town at Yapahu, which was also sometimes termed Siriwaḍdhana-nuwara, and was the capital for a short period in the thirteenth century A.D.
As a result of other enquiries, I learnt that there is a place at Kaṭuwannāwa, a village two miles north of the junction of the Kimbulwāna-oya with the Daeduru-oya, which still bears the name of Siriwaḍḍhana-nuwara; and I took advantage of the first opportunity to visit it.
There is an early wihāra at the spot, with a small brick dāgaba, called the Sigiriya Waehaera, a raised platform round a Bō-tree, and two small rock-caves prepared for the monks. The only inscription known consists of four letters, of the second or third century A.D., on a flat rock near the dāgaba, reading mi simița, with a probable meaning,' this (is) for the boundary.' The bricks of the dagaba are of two sizes, of which those of the earliest type average 2.93 inches in thickness, 9.07 inches in breadth, and are nearly 18 inches in length, a fragment being broken off the most perfect one I could find. Bt. is 26.5, and as the length is evidently, as usual, six times the thickness, or 17.58 inches, the contents becomes 466 cubic inches. These dimensions indicate the third century B.C. as the probable time when the bricks were burnt.
Water was supplied to the place by a cut channel with a bed from 15 to 18 feet wide, which branched off from a main channel that was opened from a stone dam, now breached, built across the Kimbulwāna-oya. This main channel was carried on to Talagalla tank, a large reservoir about four miles away, The restoration of these works by Parakrama-Bāhu I is mentioned in the Mahāvansa (ii, pp. 148 and 265), the site of the dam being there termed Sūkara Nijjhara. In the ground all around, the villagers informed me that when digging for cultivation purposes they met with large-sized ancient bricks, the presence of which proves the existence of numerous monastic buildings there at an early date.
There is, however, a general absence of ruins above the surface of the ground, with one notable exception. This is a ruin known as the Dalada Maligawa, the Palace of the Tooth
relic. It was a circular building of a special type, perhaps unique in Ceylon, 40 feet in diameter to the outer sides of the 20 octagonal pillars that supported the roof, each being about 14 inches thick, and standing now 7 feet out of the ground. Four larger square pillars, with sides of 18 inches, are arranged in a square 10 feet 6 inches across, in the centre of the circle. Inside this central chamber there is a stone flower-altar formed of a single well-cut slab 8 feet 7 inches long and 3 feet 7 inches wide, close to which, on the west side, in the middle of the room, is the spot now pointed out as the site occupied by the case or 'karaṇḍuwa' of the Tooth-relic. A second stone flower-altar 4 feet 10 inches wide, is fixed to the eastward of the inner room, in the outer circular chamber which surrounds it.
According to the local tradition, the building had three stories; all the upper part must have been built of wood, as in practically all other instances in Ceylon, and it has of course disappeared. The whole place was overgrown with jungle, which was partly cleared away to enable me to examine it.
At the time when the great Festival of the Tooth-relic took place the king is said to have restored the present wihāra and the dagaba. The villagers expressed surprise that doubts had been cast upon the identity of the town.
According to the Waņņi Kadayin Pota, 'the book of the Wanni (district) Boundaries,' the limits of that part of the Visideka Kōrale of the Wanni Hat Pattu, in which the town lay, was defined as follows in the fifteenth century - Having first taken the Daeduru-oya up to Sri-warḍḍhana-nuwara, the boundary was made as follows: On this side of the rocky ridge at Ratmala; the Degaḍaturā mountain; Potuwē-pițiya; Moragoḍa hill; Gurugoḍa wihāra; the wihāra of Niyandawana were made the boundaries. This additional country is the end of the boundaries for the Visideka.' 1
This extract proves that the city was close to the Daeduruoya, and at the edge of the district; that is, at the site just described at Kaṭuwannawa. It is evident that it does not
1 See also Upham's Buddhist Tracts, p. 215, where the translation is defective.