History of the Tree Tops Farm area .
We are in the part of Sri Lanka historically known as the Ruhunu (Southern) District. More than two millenniums ago this area became the domain of famous Buddhist kings like the hero king Dutugemunu (2nd century B.C.) and his brother, King Saddha Tissa.
Around Tree Tops Farm there are many indications of the Buddhist civilization existing here at least 2200 years back in history.
According to the Buddhist chronicle, "The Mahavamsa", Buttala was the northern border of Dutugemunus' Ruhunu Kingdom and a defense base was placed in the vicinity of Buttala.
The Mahavamsa relates that King Dutugemunu - having started his military campaign to unite Sri Lanka under 'one Buddhist umbrella' - came this way with his war elephants going towards Anuradhapura where he finally won the battle against the Tamil king, Elara.
From this time Anuradhapura was the Buddhist capital for a thousand years.
The south-east district - Ruhunu - is actually in the dry zone but with the highly developed art of tank building, Buthala ('buth': rice, 'hala': mound) was known as the 'rice bowl' of the country. The ancient irrigation system is still used today, especially for the irrigation of paddy fields.
The 35 km Buttala-Kataragama road used to be - and still is - one of the main pilgrim routes to the important religious shrines of Kataragama. Captain John Davy of the British Army went this way on his journey to Kataragama, as described in his book 'Travels across Ceylon' (1821). Captain John Davy and his men had spent the night at a place called 'Galgewal' (stone houses), which is now known as 'Galge'.
Most important of the shrines in Kataragama is the Maha Devala - a temple for the six-faced, 12-armed Hindu war god, Skanda; the same God as the Buddhist God Kataragama - one of four guardian Gods of Sri Lanka.
According to mythology of this very popular pilgrim center, the shrine of Kataragama Devio (resident God) was build by King Dutugemunu in the 2nd century B.C.
The large white Buddhist Kirivehara Dagoba dates back to the 1st century B.C. This is where "Bhakti" ('emotional') a kind of religious activity is observed; thousands of devotees gather here to make vows, walk on fire, pierce themselves with big needles etc.
Peak seasons for the pilgrimage to Kataragama are the days around the Full Moon ('Poya'), especially in April, May, and August.
On Poya days central elements of the Buddha's life and teachings are celebrated.
Both about 45 minutes drive away. Being remote and off the crowded beaten track, these monuments are not objects for mass tourism - and they can be recommended as alternatives to the much more famous archeological monuments of
Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa, and Dambulla.
These figures are quite unique being of the Mahayana Buddhism, as the Theravada school of Buddhism historically has been all-dominant in Sri Lanka. One of the beautiful figures is thought to be the mythological Bodhisattva,
The 11m high Buddha is regarded to be the largest freestanding Buddha rock statue in the world.
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