Dambakola Patuna or Jambukola Patuna is an ancient port north of Jaffna. It was used before the Christian era. After Buddhism was brought to Sri Lanka by Arahat Mahinda in 250 BB, his sister Theri Sangamitta came to Sri Lanka a year later with a sacred Bo plant. The Samuda Panasala (Jambukola Viharaya) Devalaya was built by King Devanampiyatissa to commemorate the arrival of the Bo plant.
Later, the same king planted one of the first eight saplings of Sri Maha Bodhi and kept the original tree at the same place before bringing it to Anuradhapura. This site was redesigned by King Vijayabahu I (1070-1110). The ruins of a recent temple, such as the Buddha Footprint stone and the Watadage, are no longer there.[envira-gallery id=”5827″]
This port was gradually becoming important and the port of Mahathiththa / Mahatota / Mantota (now Mantai) at the mouth of Malwathu Oya was developed as a major junction on the sea route and over time the Dambakola Patuna Vihara was lost. Devotees coming to Jambukola from the country of Yonaka to pay homage to the ancient Jambukola Temple cite the Mahavamsakatha, Mahavamsa, and Samanthapasdika of Sri Lanka. Unfortunately today the temple shows no antiquity. Many of the structures in the temple, including the stupa, have been completed by the Sri Lanka Navy in 65 days. Even the current Bo tree was planted in 1998 by the Navy.