eLanka | Badulla Pillar Inscription – Sri Lanka’s largest pillar inscription By Arundathie Abeysinghe


Ms. Arundathie AbeysingheBadulla Pillar Inscription also known as Sorabora Wewa Pillar Inscription is the largest Pillar Inscription with the smallest letters found in Sri Lanka with a height of 2.43 meters.  The Pillar Inscription carved on a rock surface contains 203 lines and about 2000 mediaeval Sinhala scripts belonging to the era of King Udaya IV (946-954).

Badulla Pillar Inscription had been found by Jone Belli, British Deputy Agent for *Badulla in 1857 about 4.8 kilometers towards north east of Mahiyangana Raja Maha Viharaya (an ancient Buddhist Temple in *Mahiyangana) and in close proximity to *Soraborawewa.  Initially, the Pillar Inscription had been placed at the *kachcheri in Badulla. Later, it has been placed at Senarath Paranavithana Memorial Library of Badulla, the present location, due to conservation purposes.

According to archaeologists, the inscription has described about the king’s orders about a market and rules of trading; traders and householders of Hopitigama (a market town in Badulla) had submitted a petition describing corruption carried out by the village chief to King Udaya when he visited Mahiyangana Raja Maha Viharaya. The king ordered to carry out a probe regarding the corruption and this pillar inscription had been erected on the orders of the King. The Pillar Inscription has published rules prohibiting such illegal activities.

According to a description in the Pillar Inscription, during those days scales had been used to measure grain and bulls had been used to transport goods.


Badulla Pillar Inscription - Sri Lanka’s largest pillar inscription By Arundathie Abeysinghe

  • Badulla – Situated in lower central hills, Badulla is the capital city of *Uva Province and Badulla District.
  • Ceylon – Sri Lanka gained Independence from British Colonials in 1948. In 1972, Ceylon became a republic within the Commonwealth and Ceylon was thereafter known as Sri Lanka.
  • Kachcheri – A District Secretariat which functions as a liaison between the Central Government of Sri Lanka and its activities conducted at district level. Kachcheri is a Hindustani word that was initially used for Revenue Collector’s Office during the British Colonial Era in Ceylon. 
  • Mahiyangana – A town situated in Badulla District of *Uva Province of Sri Lanka.
  • Soraborawewa – An ancient reservoir in Mahiyangana in Badulla District of Sri Lanka. The tank is believed to have been constructed during King Dutugemunu’s (161 BC- 137 BC) era by a giant named Bulatha. The tank covers an area of 4.5 kliometers. In the past, the tank had been known as “Sea of Bintenna” by locals.  
  • Uva Province – This is the fourth largest province in Sri Lanka bordered by Central, Eastern and Southern provinces.

             Image courtesy: archaeology.lk

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