Medirigiriya Vatadage is situated in middle of a dry zone forest area adding to its mystic view and has a history going back to the pre-Christian times. The brami characters found on the bricks and the some of the stone carvings is an indication of the long history of this site. The first reference to this site in the chronicles is during the king Kanittha Tissa (192-194) of the Anuradhapura Era. Later many kings have contributed to this complex and finally after the invasion of Maga this site too was abandoned when the Sinhalese migrated to the southern parts unable to withstand the torture.
In 1937, 600 acres were reserved for this archaeological site due to the large number of ruins found in this area. But when this area started to populate with people migrating from various parts of the country, they gradually started destroying and removing these invaluable ruins for sale and as well as to remove any signs of ruins and capture the land. Today only 250 acres remains of the original 600 acres and none of the ruins which filled the landscape around the Vatadage.
The meaning of Vatadageya is the house around the stupa and it has been built to protect the stupa from sun and rain. This unbelievable construction has been done by stones and still stands without falling. There are three circles of stone pillars that have been used to hold the roof. All these 68 stone pillars still stand by providing a glimpse of the architectural power of Ancient civilization in Sri Lanka.
Set atop a small rock, visitors will arrive at Medirigiriya Vatadage after a short climb. Tucked away in an isolated location, the attraction draws few visitors. It is highly likely that you may be traversing the vast compounds of the site alone during your visit, enjoying the tranquil atmosphere in the secluded grounds.
At every doorway to the Vatadage stands four Buddha statues, each facing the four cardinal directions. This is a common element in such types of structure. Get your cameras ready when you stand atop the rock to enjoy the view of Medirigiriya Vatadage; it presents a striking and picture-worthy sight.