Thursday, December 20, 2018

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.

History
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 running from Anuradhapura period (377 B.C.–1017 A.D.) to 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 the evidences for the activities of early Anuradhapura period.

During the 18th century, Vanamandawa temple may had 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 (1469–1815). Paintings of Buddha, Arhants, 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 as a special piece of work (Anuradha & Kumari, 2015).
The standing Buddha, Vanamandawa The reclining Buddha statue, Vanamandawa
Sandakada Pahana, Vanamandawa Wooden door frame, Wanamandawa
References
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

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