Buddha’s visit to Sri Pada (Samanala Kanda/ Sumanagira)
Sri Lanka’s greatest chronicle the Mahavamsa states that Buddha visited Sri Lanka 3 times. After descending to Kelaniya on his third visit in his 8th year of enlightenment on the invitation of King Maniyakkika of Kelaniya, he delivered a sermon to the Nagas.
Buddha visited the Summit of Sumana Kuta (Adams Peak) upon the invitation of God Sumana Saman. Lord Buddha left an imprint of his foot which is what can be seen by worshippers visiting Sri Pada annually.
What is important is that this is not the first Buddha to have come to Sri Pada. The Ambagamu Sel Lipi. There are more evidence from the Naraseeha gatha which clearly describes details of the footprint. Lakkana Suthra also provides details of Buddha’s footprint. It is said that between 10-18 places in Sri Lanka, Buddha’s footprint is found. Prof. Senarath Paranavithana also provides details. Siripa vandana gatha gives 4 recitals. Samanala Kanda or Sumanagira is where Buddha’s footprint rests. The Mahaweli, which is Sri Lanka’s longest river that flows to the sea from Trincomalee is mentioned in the ancient chronicles – King Dutugemunu, King Parakramabahu, King Vijayabahu 1, King Nissankamalla and many other kings have paid homage to Sri Pada. It is without a doubt that the next Buddha – Maithri Buddha will also descend on Sri Pada as well.