Nagadeepa Viharaya, the temple at Nainativu Islands, is one of the most venerated places of worship of the local and foreign Buddhists. During our visit to the temple, not only Buddhists even visitors from other faiths were there dressed in light pastel hues. Mahavamsa explains the importance of the Nagadeepa Viharaya as a place where Buddha paid a visit during his second visit to the country on Bak Maha Poya Day. The story says that the Naga King Mahodara and Prince Chulodara, father and son-in-law, were all set to war over a gem-studded chair after the death of King Mahodara's daughter who was the wife of Chulodara. This gem-studded chair had been a wedding gift from the King. Hearing of this impending war, Lord Buddha visited Nagadeepa and resolved the conflict peacefully. It is at this site that the Nagadeepa Temple of today lies. This incident is depicted in a mural near the bo tree. The Tamil Buddhist epic, Manimekala, cites a gem studded throne and a stone with the Buddha’s footprints at Nagadipa, which pilgri...
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...arrived at the makeshift stalls, or ‘thorombal’ as my little brother call them. They were selling palmyrah jaggery, popcorn, fruits and conch shells that are common in the area. “Buy ‘inguru dosi’ from me, three boxes are over and the last six remains,” an old woman announced. “Buy palmyrah jiggery from us, take these for your loved ones,” a man shouted. It was chaos at the road. We rushed to the jetty under the blazing sun and the heat. For our relief this time it was better boat and fewer crowds. The boat slowly drifted away from the islet, and the excited youngsters in the boat tried pushing the elderly crowd from the entrance and climbed to the roof when one nearly fell to the sea. Luckily, they had their life jackets on. Journey to Nagadeepa, was one memorable trip in my life. Now, I too can brag like my granny and other elders, “I have being to Nagadeepa”.
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