Nagadeepa is an ancient Buddhist temple in the Jaffna district. It is one of the country’s 16 holiest Buddhist shrines.
According to history, Gauthama Buddha had visited Nagadeepa (523 B.C) after five years of attaining Enlightenment to intervene and mediate in settling a dispute between Mahodara and Chulodara, uncle and nephew who were at war with each other over the possession of a gem studded throne.
Ancient chronicles reveal that the Thathagatha’s first visit was to Mahiyangana in the ninth month of his Enlightenment. His second visit was to Nagadeepa.
Mahodara was a king in Nagadeepa in the Naga kingdom.
On arrival, seeing that the king had been involved in several fights, the Buddha with his psychic power appeared above in the sky performing miracles which made the Nagas breathtakingly astonished and happy. Finally having listened to the sermons emphasizing the value of harmony and the ill effectsof hatred, they worshipped the Buddha with overwhelming shraddha. They discarded their weapons and offered the gem studded throne to the Buddha.
History reveals how they adhered to the Buddha, Dhamma and Sangha and became devotees.
Nagadeepa Vihara was first constructed under the reign of King Devanampiyatissa and later was expanded by King Dutugemunu.
A museum has been set up at the Nagadeepa Vihara premises. The museum has two floors filled with artefacts recovered from the site. You will find ancient kitchen utensils used in the Nagadeepa Purana Vihara.