Dakkhina Stupa

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Dakkhina Stupa
දක්ඛිණ ස්තුපය/දකුණු දාගැබ
தக்கின தூப/எல்லாளன் நடுகல்
The Stupa
Basic information
Geographic coordinates8°20′29.0″N 80°23′41.7″E / 8.341389°N 80.394917°E / 8.341389; 80.394917Coordinates: 8°20′29.0″N 80°23′41.7″E / 8.341389°N 80.394917°E / 8.341389; 80.394917
ProvinceNorth Central Province
CountrySri Lanka
Heritage designationArchaeological protected monument[1]
Architectural typeBuddhist Temple

Dakkhina Stupa (Sinhalese: දක්ඛිණ ස්තුපය, lit. 'Dakkhiṇa Stupaya', Tamil: தக்கின தூப, lit. 'Dakkhiṇa Thupa') is a 2nd-century BC large brick Stupa in Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka. The Stupa was identified to have been built to mark the site of cremation of King Dutugamunu (161 BC – 137 BC).[2] The structure was identified in 1946 as Dakkhina Stupa by the eminent archaeologist Senarath Paranavithana.[3]

This structure was for centuries locally known as the tomb stone of king Ellalan, known as Elara Sohona, which was worshipped by Tamils and Sinhalese.[4][5]


According to the legends this site was known as the Pulila terrace as there was a growing Pulila tree at that time period and the thero, Mihindu had requested from the King Devanampiya Tissa (307 BC – 267 BC) to cremate his remains here. The legend further states that the remains of King Dutugamunu were also cremated in this terrace. It is said that this Stupa was constructed and named as Dhakkina thupa by a minister during the reign of King Valagamba (103 BCE and c. 89–77 BCE).[6]

The structure was popularly known as Elara Sohona, the tomb of 2nd century BCE king Chola Tamil king Ellalan (c. 205 – c. 161 BC), who invaded Sri Lanka and ruled the Anuradhapura Kingdom for over 40 years.[7] It was popularly believed that King Dutugemunu had built this for King Ellalan, after defeating him in battle. But in the mid-19th centuries James Fergusson a Scottish architect and writer who studied History of Indian and Eastern Architecture, had mentioned (1876) this structure could not be the Elara's tomb.[8]

This new identification and reclassification is considered controversial and disputed historical conceptualization in Sri Lankan history.[9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Archaeological Sites (Map)". Department of Archaeology. Retrieved 20 September 2017.
  2. ^ Gunaratna, Rohan (2000). Sri Lanka. Ediz. Inglese. Casa Editrice Bonechi. p. 25. ISBN 9788880292395.
  3. ^ Seneviratna, Anuradha (1994). Ancient Anuradhapura: The Monastic City. Archaeological Survey Department, Government of Sri Lanka, 1994. p. 195. ISBN 9789559159025. It was identified in an excavation in 1946 as the Dakkhina Stupa by the eminent historian and archaeologist Senarat Paranavitana.
  4. ^ McGilvray, Dennis B. (1993). Reviewed Work: The Presence of the Past: Chronicles, Politics, and Culture in Sinhala Life.by Steven Kemper. The University of Colorado Boulder: The Journal of Asian Studies. p. 1058. JSTOR 2059412.
  5. ^ Wickramasinghe, Nira (2015). Sri Lanka in the Modern Age: A History. Oxford University Press. p. 398. ISBN 9780190225797.
  6. ^ Bauddha Saṃskr̥tika Madhyasthānaya (2000). Sri Lanka Pilgrim's Guide. Buddhist Cultural Centre. p. 18. ISBN 9789558129388. Dakkhina Stupa According to an inscription this stupa was constructed by Uttiya, a Minister of King Valagamba.
  7. ^ Rutnam, James Thevathasan (1981). Tomb of Elara at Anuradhapura. Jaffna Archaeological Society.
  8. ^ James Fergusson (1876). History of Indian and Eastern Architecture, Volume 1. J. Murray, 1876. p. 189. Among these is the great mound, called the tomb of the usurper Elaala, but more probably it is a tope erected by the king Duttagaimuni to commemorate the victory over that intruder which he gained on this spot about the year B.C. 161.
  9. ^ Indrapala, K. The Evolution of an ethnic identity: The Tamils of Sri Lanka, p. 368

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