Namal Uyana

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The Jathika Namal Uyana in Sri Lanka is the largest ironwood forest and pink quartz mountain in Asia. The Ironwood Tree is endemic to Sri Lanka and the replanted forest is over 260 acres in extent. According to archeological researcher’s findings, the pink quartz in this historical place has a history of more than 550 millions of years. Naamal Uyana is an extremely rare forest replanted with Iron wood trees in the 8th Century AD commenced during the starting from King Devanampiyathissa and ending with king Dappula IV. Namal Uyana had been a sanctuary for Buddhist monks during King Devanampiyatissa’s reign in the 8th century.

The national Namal Uyana in Galkiriyagama which has the largest Rose Quartz mountain in South Asia consists of 972 hectares or more. On May 8, 2005 Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa will declare open the forest as a National Forest Reserve.

Twelve years ago, Venerable Wanawasi Rahula thera, a Sri Lankan Buddhist monk settled in Namal Uyana, an ironwood forest in Sri Lanka’s Dry Zone. He built for himself a little tree-house 40 ft above ground in the branches of a Mora tree, to live and to meditate. This was his home for almost a year, after which he moved into a humble hermitage of cheap wood.

Now firmly established as head monk of the forest hermitage, he acts as guardian of the forest and its environs, a role played by Sri Lanka’s Buddhist monks for over two millennia in the long history of Namal Uyana. Rahula thera believes it was a role he had played in a previous lifetime 800 years ago.

When Rahula thera first came to the forest, he did not realize the extent of its natural and historical treasures. Here you find ruins of an ancient monastery that received the royal patronage of King Devanampiya Tissa (307-267 B.C) and granite foundations of very old buildings strewn on a section of the forest bed.

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