Mahawansa states that Buddha’s first visit to Sri Lanka was to Mahiyanganaya. Sumana the devoted follower of the Lord Buddha was amongst those who gathered round Lord Buddha in Mahiyanganaya. Inspired by the Buddha’s doctrine, following the Dhamma and listening to his holy preaching Saman attained the higher state of Ariya. Later After his demise Saman become a symbol of worship and was acclaimed as God Sumana Saman.
The name Saman means “the rising morning sun”. His character is of historical significance for the Sinhala people and veneration to all the Buddhists. The deity Sumana Saman is depicted crowned, bejeweled, holding a lotus flower in his right hand and accompanied by a white elephant. For a truly historical and religious experience of devotees gathered in worship evoking the blessings of the deity the Sumana Saman Devalaya is a must visit.