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B/N 920– State Vesak Festival – 2017

The Philatelic Bureau of the Department of Posts has issued a new postage stamp in the denomination of Rs. 15.00 on May 09, 2017 to commemorate the State Vesak Festival of the Buddhist Era 2561.


Date of Issue:

9th May 2017

Denomination: Rs.15.00
Stamp designer: Mr. Palitha Gunasinghe
Catalogue No. Rs.15.00 – CSL2225
Stamp Size : 60mm x30mm
Sheet Composition: 20 stamps per sheet

First Day Cover


Vattarama Sri Arahatta Maliyadeva Rajamaha Viharaya

The Vattarama Sri Arahatta Maliyadeva RajamahaViharaya where the 2561 B.E. State Vesak Festival will be held is situated in the village called Imbulgasdeniya on the Polgahawela-Kegalla road.

History has it that in this area which belonged to Maya Rata during the reign of King DevanampiyaTissa, there lived a populations of the Naga clan. One branch of the thirty two bo saplings which had sprung from the eight Bodhi trees from the Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi tree after it was planted in the Mahamegha Garden of Anuradhapura has been planted near the monastery called MaliyaMahaPaya situated on the premises of this vihara.

It is in this vihara that the last arahant of Sri Lanka, arahant Maliyadeva, who lived during the reign of king Gothabhaya( 253 AD-266 AD), is said to have lived. Therefore, the VattaramaRajamahaVihara is also known as 'Vattarama Sri ArahattaMaliyadevaRajamahaVihara'. It is also said that another reason for the use of Vattarama to identify this area is the existence of a cluster of monasteries during the ancient times.

The open pohoyasimava situated in this sacred site is used for the vinayakamma or the rites of discipline of the higher ordained monks of the vihara even today.

In the two storeyed hexagonal building known as the library are deposited the relic casket, ancient artefacts and a number of Buddha statutes found during excavations. At a little distance from the southern entrance on the right of the stupa there are several stone pillars and the sacred Foot Print of the Buddha has been carved on a large stone slab placed on two of those pillars. A large stone seat too is to be seen in the vihara premises. There are three inscriptions belonging to the category of pillar inscriptions in this vihara and in two of them the script has been erased.

Around 1744 AD, WijesundaraLewkeAdigar had performed some work for the advancement of this vihara and the old vihara building attributed to him and the wall paintings therein bear testimony to the skills of the Kandyan artistes. Around 1920 AD, steps were taken by Venerable Goidgamuwe Sri RatanapalaNayakathera to build the new chaitya and the two-storeyed library of this vihara

In 1987, this ancient site of arahants where Arahant Maliyadeva lived was declared a sacred site by the government.

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