Maha Saman Devala, Kuruvita Korale, Devalegama

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Saman Devale, Ratnapura. View at full size.
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Maha Saman Devale is near the 41st mile on the Ratnapura-Panadura Road. There would have been an ancient devale at this site. The Portuguese, who overran this area in the 15th century, destroyed the sacred buildings at the site. Realizing the strategic impotance of the site, they built a fortress there, for which purpose the land here was raised up by filling.

There are two platforms here. The lower platform is gained through two vahalkadas on the east and the south. A flight of steps on the eastern side provides access from the lower platform to the upper platform. Prakara walls around the platform are clad at top with tiles. Opposite the flight of steps leading to the upper terrace is the santi maduwa of the devala, which is a pillared structure provided with dwarfs on either side. Openings are provided on this dwarf wall for obtaining access to the image house on the north and to the Pattini Devala on the south. The dogge has wooden posts.

The three storied structure at the end of the digge is known as the palace. To one who looks at it from afar, the palace looks like a dagoba. The vihara here is built on a high stereobate and is surrounded by a varandas. It has ancient paintings. There is an ancient bo-tree south of the flight of steps leading to the upper terrace. In the devala premises is a sculptured stone of the Potuguese period which portrays the Portuguese General Simao Pinnao with brandished sword trampling a Sinhalese soldier. On the slab is a Portuguese instription which is a short description of the Portuguese general.