At an elevation of 3567 feet, on the summit of Ambuluvava peak that rises just four kilometres from Gampola, a sapling of the sacred Bo Tree of Anuradhapura is carefully, lovingly tended. Acting Director of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Peradeniya, D.S.A. Wijesundera, has ensured a green shade cloth over and around it and told me that it was already putting out new leaves. I believe it is the only sacred Bo sapling to thrive at such a height.
A fitting place indeed, for as Nandasena Mudiyanse tells us in his book, The Art and Architecture of the Gampola Period (1341-1415 AD ), the foot of this mountain holds the ruins of the Malati-mala-sailays, the dwelling place of Dharmakirtti Sthavira. Only the platform of this ancient edifice now remains in the embrace of a grove of araliya. It was here that Dharmakirtti composed the Pali poem Jananuragacarita. No ordinary monk was he. He was the thera Silavamsa. He also composed the Patami-Maha-Sataka and it was Bhuvanakabahu IV who built for him this Gampola abode. History has it that he was the brother of King Parakrama Bahu.
The Mayura Sandesaya also names Dharmakirtti as the Sangharaja of that period. The 1928 translation edited by W.F. Gunawardhana states: “The hierarch Dharmakirtti who is wise and who hoisted the flag of Dhamma as a symbol of victory over the world.