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  • Ambatthala

A little tableland immediately below the Silakūta of the Missaka Mountain in Ceylon. It was near here that Mahinda and his companions alighted after their aerial journey from Jambudīpa (Mhv.Xiii.20). There King Mahādāthika-Mahānāga built the Ambatthala Thūpa, risking his own life in order to make the building secure. He made a cover for the whole thūpa and, at its dedication, held the great Giribhandapūjā (Mhv.Xxiv.68-81). Kanitthatissaka built a monastery attached to the thūpa (Mhv.Xxxvi.9), which Gothābhaya renovated (Mhv.Xxxvi.106).

The vihāra was rebuilt or enlarged by Dhātusena. He intended to give it into the charge of the Theravādins, but ultimately gave it to the Dhammarucikas at the latters' request (Cv.xxxviii.76). Sirimeghavanna had a life-size golden image of Mahinda placed in the Ambatthala Cetiya (Cv.xxxvii.69).

It is said that the place was so called after the riddle of the mango tree (Mhv.Xiv.17ff.) with which Mahinda put Devānampiyatissa's discernment to the test. Even now mango trees are planted near the ceitya in memory of the event (Cv.trans. i.4. n.5).

Other names for the place are Cetiyambatthala (Cv.xxxvii.69) and Therambatthalaka (Mhv.Xxxvi.106).


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