Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Gothami Viharaya

The image house of Gothami Viharaya
Gothami Viharaya is a Buddhist temple situated in Borella, Colombo District, Sri Lanka.

History
Gothami Viharaya was established in 1990, with the donation of temple land to the Rev. Dodanduwa Sri Piyarathana Thera by Mrs. Apalonia de Soysa Pieris, the mother of Sir James Pieris who is considered a prominent figure in the Sri Lanka’s independence movement (Rajapakshe et al., 2018).

Paintings
After about 40 years, with the guidance of Rev. Telwatte Amarawamsa Thera and the invitation of Mr. Harald Pieris, George Keyt painted the outer walls of the ambulatory of image house depicting the life episodes of the Buddha. He started the painting works in 1931 and completed them in 1940 (Rajapakshe et al., 2018). The walls for these paintings are said to be prepared by an architect called Andrew Boyd (Rajapakshe et al., 2018). The Gothami Viharaya is the only Buddhist temple in the country which has a valuable collection of paintings done by George Keyt (Rajapakshe et al., 2018).

Besides the paintings of George Keyt, the image house of Gothami temple contains the paintings of the well known Sri Lankan artist Manju Sri (Manathunga, 2016). The paintings of traditional "Punkalasa" at the front door and the floral designs on the pedestal around the inner wall have been done by Manju Sri.

A protected site
The Viharageya (image house) with ancient paintings and sculpture belonging to Gothami Vihara in the village of Gothamipura situated in the Grama Niladhari Division of Gothamipura bearing number 87 in the Divisional Secretariat Division of Thimbirigasyaya is an archaeological protected monument, declared by a government gazette notification published on 6 July 2007.

George Keyt's paintings at Gothami Viharaya Stupa of Gothami Viharaya George Keyt's paintings at Gothami Viharaya Manju Sri's paintings at Gothami Viharaya
References
1) Manathunga, S. B., 2016. Pauranika Sthana Saha Smaraka: Kolamba Distrikkaya (In Sinhala). Department of Archaeology (Sri Lanka). ISBN: 955-9159-39-9. p.58.
2) Rajapakshe, S.; Bandara, T. M. C.; Vanninayake, R. M. B. T. A. B. (Editors), 2018. Puravidya Sthana Namavaliya: Kolamba Distrikkaya (In Sinhala). Vol. I. Department of Archaeology (Sri Lanka). ISBN: 978-955-7457-19-2. pp.46-47.
3) The Gazette of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. No: 1505. 6 July 2007. p.549.

Location Map

This page was last updated on 30 November 2019

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