Vanamandawa Raja Maha Viharaya

Vanamandawa Raja Maha Viharaya
Vanamandawa Raja Maha Viharaya or Wanamandawa Purana Viharaya is an ancient Buddhist temple located in the village of Vanamandawa in Kurunegala District, Sri Lanka.

Local folklore links the history of this temple to the reign of King Valagamba [(103 B.C. and c. 89–77 B.C.) Anuradha & Kumari, 2015].

The cave temple (Len Viharaya) is the most ancient structure found in Vanamandawa Viharaya with a history spanning from Anuradhapura Period to the modern Colombo era (Anuradha & Kumari, 2015). The drip-ledged cave and four rock-cut letters (thought to be early Brahmi scripts) which are found on the top of the cave-forming rock (Anuradha & Kumari, 2015) furnish evidence for the activities of the early Anuradhapura period.

During the 18th century, the temple may have served Weliwita Sri Saranankara Thero (1698-1778), at the time, who was the pioneer in the revival of Buddhism in Sri Lanka. The name of Vanamandawa temple is mentioned in "Sangharaja Sadhu Chariyawa" (Anuradha & Kumari, 2015), the biography of Ven. Welivita Saranankara Sangharaja written by Aiththaliyadde Muhamdiram Rala.

Image house
The image house consists of two sections viz: i) inner chamber and ii) outer part. The inner chamber contains paintings and sculptures belonging to the Kandyan Era. Paintings of Buddha, Arhats, gods, Solosmasthana (16 sacred places), Sath Sathiya (the seven weeks), and a figure of King Kirthi Sri Rajasinghe (1747-1782 A.D.) are found in this chamber (Anuradha & Kumari, 2015). Among the murals, the painting depicting the Mara Parajaya (defeat of Mara) is considered a special piece of work (Anuradha & Kumari, 2015).

The standing Buddha The reclining Buddha Wooden door frame Sandakada Pahana .
1) Anuradha, R.K.S.; Kumari, A.S., 2015. Pauranika Sthana Ha Smaraka: Kurunegala Distrikkaya (In Sinhala). Department of Archaeology. ISBN: 955-9159-37-2. p.86.

Location Map
This page was last updated on 14 January 2023
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