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 Post subject: Rangiri Rock Temple at Galenbindunuwewa is vandalised
 Post Posted: Fri Apr 01, 2005 1:59 am 
Treasure hunters vandalise abandoned ancient Vihara

By B. M.Wickrama / DM

Treasure hunters have destroyed an abandoned ancient cave temple known as Rangiri Rock Temple at Galenbindunuwewa,

It is said that the Buddhist monks who resided at this temple had taken refuge in the Kanni Maduwa Rajamaha Vihara during the Portuguese invasion leaving the temple to the jungle. The 25 feet Buddha statue and several monuments in the temple that belong to the Anuradhapura period have been dug up by these thieves in their quest for treasures.

A host of caves, a monastery built on 80 granite pillars with statues, moonstones, and various other archaeological remains are found in an extent of three acres around the rock. Treasure hunters have dug up the land about 25 feet deep at places and damaged the archaeological remains.

Deputy Minister of Social Services, S.M.Chandrasena, members of the Dayaka Sabhawa and the resident monks of the Kannimaduwa Temple visited the area recently to take measures to restore the ancient monastery.. It was an arduous journey of about 13 miles through difficult terrain, including thick jungle The monks requested Deputy Minister to take steps to restore the monastery.

The Minister said that the only way to protect Hurulu Forest Reserve and the archaeological remains in the area was to open the proposed Hurulu national park.

He was of the opinion that the access road to the proposed national park should be constructed to cover the Rangiri Cave temple as well. A resident of Kannimaduwa, K.Tikiribanda who joined the inspection tour said that he was astonished to find huge pits in place of moonstones and an ancient inscription and that the Archaeological Department had not paid any attention to it. Residents in the area said that the wanton destruction of the cave Temple could be prevented only if it was inhabited by monks again.

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