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Somawathiya Chaitya

Polonnaruwa, Ancient Central, Sri Lanka.
Location : Polonnaruwa
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Overview
The Somawathiya Chaitya, a stupa said to be containing a relic of the tooth of the Buddha, is situated within the Somawathiya National Park.
It is believed that one Prince Giri Aba who was married to Princess Somawathi, sister of King Kavantissa, built the Somawathiya Chethiya in 2nd Century A.D. They lived in and ruled over an area called Somapura which was situated at the bed of the Mahaweli River and the Somawathiya Chethiya was built upon the request of the princess who wanted a temple to perform religious activities.
The right tooth relic of Lord Buddha is enshrined in the relic chamber of the stupa and is believed to be one of the two remaining tooth relics in the world, the other being the one at the Dalada Maligawa.
Somawathiya Chethiya was maintained by several kings who succeeded Prince Aba but it was later abandoned during foreign invasions. It was again discovered in the 1940’s and archaeologists began excavations in 1964. They unearthed many things including stone inscriptions, moonstones, flower pedestals, etc.
In 1987 the Somawathiya area came under terrorist attack and a massacre was carried out in a nearby village. The caretaker of the temple was also killed during this massacre.

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