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Author:Laxman Burdak, IFS (R)

Guptahala (गुप्तहाल) was an ancient place mentioned in Mahavansha. It has been identified with present Buttala in Sri Lanka.[1]




Buttala (බුත්තල) is a town in Sri Lanka. It is located in Monaragala District of Uva Province, Sri Lanka.[2]

The history of Buttala goes back to the time of King Dutugamunu in the 2nd century BC, when it was known as Guthala. The Mahavamsa chronicle of ancient Sri Lanka states that when Dutugamunu's army passed through Buttala en route to Rajarata in the north to wage war on Elara. The names of many places are derived from ancient times, often from the names of the generals of armies, as in the case of Buttala.[3]

In Mahavansha

Mahavansa/Chapter 24 mentions.....When the king had built sixty-four viharas and had lived just as many years he died then in that same place.' The queen took the king's body, brought it to the Tissamaharama in a covered car and told this to the brotherhood. When the prince Tissa heard this he came from Dighavapi, and when he himself had carried out with (due) care the funeral rites for his father, the powerful (prince) took his mother and the elephant Kandula with him and for fear of his brother went thence with all speed back to Dighavapi. To acquaint him with these matters the whole of the ministers, who had met together, sent a letter to Dutthagamni. He repaired to Guttahala and when he had placed outposts there he came to Mahagama and caused himself to be consecrated king. He sent a letter to his brother (asking) for his mother and the elephant. But when after the third time he did not receive them he set forth to make war upon him. And between those two there came to pass a great battle in Culanganiyapitthi: fell many thousands of the king's men. The king and his minister Tissa and the mare Dighathunika, those three, took flight; the prince (Tissa) pursued them. The bhikkhus created a mountain between the two (brothers). When he (Tissa) saw it he turned about, thinking: `This is the work of the brotherhood of the bhikkhus.'

Mahavansa/Chapter 25 mentions....When the king Dutthagamani had provided for his people and had had a relic put into his spear' he marched, with chariots, troops and beasts for riders, to Tissamaharama, and when he had shown favour to the brotherhood he said: `I will go on to the land on the further side of the river to bring glory to the doctrine. Give us, that we may treat them with honour, bhikkhus who shall go on with us, since the sight of bhikkhus is blessing and protection for us.' As a penance the brotherhood allowed him five hundred ascetics; taking this company of bhikkhus with him the king marched forth, and when he had caused the read in Malaya leading hither to be made ready he mounted the elephant Kandula and, surrounded by his warriors, he took the field with a mighty host. With the one end yet in Mahagama the train of the army reached to Guttahalaka.


विजयेन्द्र कुमार माथुर[4] ने लेख किया है ...गुप्तहाल (लंका) (AS, p.291) महवंश 24,17 में वर्णित. महागाम से 34 मील उत्तर की ओर वर्तमान बुत्तल.

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