Tissamaharama Raja Maha Vihara
Tissamaharama Raja Maha Vihara, typically says the ‘Temple of Tissa,’ the 55.8m high dagoba is presumed to hold a sacred tooth relic and forehead bone relic. Adjoining wewa (lake) is said to be constructed around 200 BC by King Kavantissa resembling a common concept of ‘lake and temple’ in the good old days. Next to the dagoba is a statue of the heroic Queen Viharamahadevi; Sandagiri Stupa, presumed to be the oldest stupa in southern Sri Lanka and the area of ‘Kshatriya’ warrior clan. The stupa enshrines relics received as gifts from Emperor Asoka. A 2-3rd century BC ‘Siri Pathul Gal’ (footprint of Buddha carved in rock slabs) is among the ruins; Kirinda Raja Maha Vihara, about 10km south of Tissa is where princess Viharamahadevi drifted ashore as per legend. She was sacrificed to sea by her father King Kelanitissa of Kelaniya (close to Colombo) as a penance after he killed a monk. Subsequently, she married King Kavantissa, ruler of the Ruhunu kingdom. Their sons were Dutugemunu and Tissa, the former is the all-time admired Sinhalese king, who liberated Anuradhapura from Indian invaders, namely King Elara in the 2nd century BC and united the country.