Nagadeepa

Access to Nagadeepa is from the village of Kurikattuwan (Kurikadduwan) of the island of Punkudutivu which is a 20 minute boat ride over the Palk Bay. The island of Punkudutivu is connected by a causeway over the Palk Bay to Kayts, the largest island of the cluster. Kayts is in turn reached by a longer causeway, again over the Palk Bay from the city Jaffna. The total distance (land and sea) from Jaffna to Nagadeepa is approximately 30 km.

The Jaffna city is located 404 km north of Colombo in the northernmost Peninsula of Sri Lanka and can be reached via the A3 main road that is then linked to the main northern A9 motor road.

District : Jaffna

Location : Nainathivu

History :

  • Nagadipa or Naka-diva is first mentioned in the Pali chronicles of Ceylon in connection with the story of the Buddha’s second visit to Sri Lanka in the 6th century B.C. According to the Mahavamsa (ch.1.vv 44-70) the Buddha, during this visit pacified two Naga kings of Nagadipa who were arrayed in battle over a gem-set throne. In the ancient chronicles the pre-historic Naga tribes are represented as non-human beings enriched with an advanced civilization.

  • The ancient temple encompasses the image houses and the stupa in which the gem-set throne was enshrined before it was destroyed. The Buddhist temple therein is a modern one and unlike the thousands of other stupas in the country, the modern Nagadeepa stupa is painted in silver in an attempt to protect its limestone structure from the relentless sea-wind. There are two shrine rooms at the premises: behind the stupa is the main shrine room while the smaller shrine room features a bronze Buddha statue.

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