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Buddha's visit

Historical sources, including the ancient chronicle "Mahavansa", record that the Buddha visited the Mahiyangana area in the ninth month after he attained enlightenment, which was his first visit to the country. According to the "Mahavansa", Sri Lanka was inhabited by "yakshas" at the time. It says that the Buddha subdued the "yakshas" there and held a discourse on Dhamma with them. They were then sent to an island named "Giri" so that the country would be "purified" and Buddhism could be established there later on, where it would prevail "in all its glory".

Mahiyangana is a town in Badulla District, Uva Province of Sri Lanka. Lord Buddha's first visit to Sri Lanka was to Mahiyangana. It is the land of the veddahs " aborigens " dating to the visit of the buddha to Sri Lanka to stop the war between the race of yakksas (demons)n and the race nagas (serpents); where the buddha preaced the grand monument was erected the dagaba while buddha was living; Bintenna was the village called by the veddha land it relates to the story of first habittents of the sinhala race dating to five hundred years BC where kuveni the chif of demons marries the prince of India (the son of the king sinhabahu, vijaya was the prince)and gives birth two children girl and a boy, and they have children and they are called the first veddhas.

A Yakka chieftain named Saman (who is now regarded as a deity) attained Sotapanna (Sovan) after listening to the Buddha's discourse, and asked for a token from the Buddha that they could worship in his absence. The Buddha had given him a handful of hair from his head, which Saman later enshrined in a small stupa, 10 feet (3.0 m) in height. This was the first stupa to be built in Sri Lanka.
After the parinirvana of the Buddha in 543 BC, an Arahant named Sarabhu brought the Buddha's left clavicle bone, which had been recovered from the funeral pyre. This relic was also enshrined within the same stupa, which was enlarged to a height of 18 feet (5.5 m).

Several kings have since renovated and enlarged this stupa, including Dutthagamani who raised it to a height of 120 feet (37 m). Other rulers such as Voharika Tissa, Sena II, Vijayabahu I and Kirti Sri Rajasinha have carried out repairs and maintenance work at the temple. In 1942, a society was formed for the renovation of the temple under D. S. Senanayake. Reconstruction work began in 1953 and ended in 1980 with the completion of a new pinnacle for the stupa.

The stupa was built by prince Saman of deva tribe of pre-historic Lanka (other two tribes were Yakka & Naga) during the first visit of Buddha to the island. It was rebuilt by the hero of the nation King Dutugamunu of Ruhuna (161-136 BC) & has been restored many times by a succession of kings: King Voharaka Tissa (214-235 AD), King Sangabodhi (251-252 AD), King Sena the 2nd (847-900 AD), King Kassapa the 4th (912-928 AD), King Vijayabahu (1065-1119AD), King Narendrasinha (1705-1737 AD) & King Kirti Sri Rajasinha (1746-1778).