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).