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Dematamal Viharaya

Location Details

Dematamal Viharaya is located in Okkampitiya village, Monaragala district, Uya Province, Sri Lanka. Its history goes back to the 3rd or 2nd century BC. 

According to folklore, it is known as the place which provided safety to Prince Saddhatissa, who was attempting to flee after losing the fight with his elder brother, Prince.  Dutugamunu   But there are other assumptions and options about the temple too.

The legend of Dematamal Viharaya

The legend says, after a small war with King  Dutugamunu, his younger brother Prince Tissa (Saddhatissa) has sought protection from Sanga by arriving this temple. The chief Sanga, has asked the prince to hide under the bed.

King Dutugamunu suspected that his brother was in the temple and came to meet the Sanga. When he asked the monk about his brother, the monk has replied, Tissa Adehi Natha- Tissa is not on the bed.

The king has understood that this means, even though brother is not on bed, he might be under the bed. While worshipping the monk, he has bend, looked at under the bed and verified that his brother is hiding there.

The king then order his men to guard outside the temple premises. The chief monk understanding that, Tissa won’t be ever able to leave temple premises in this condition, requested four monks to carry Tissa, pretending to carrying a expired body of a monk.

King understanding it is Tissa, not a dead body of a monk, said ‘Tissa, Sangun Pita Noyaw”. Anyway, later the dispute between the two brothers were resolved by the assistance and guidance from Sanga.

Since the king identified his brother's presence, the name 'Dutu mal vehera' (Temple where he saw his sibling)was used by villagers. Later it became ' Detu mal vehera' and next evolued to 'Demata mal viharaya'.