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Sri Jinendrarama Tempita Viharaya (Warapalana)

Sri Jinendrarama Tempita Viharaya
Sri Jinendrarama Tempita Viharaya or Sri Jinendraramaya (Sinhala: වරපලාන ශ්‍රී ජිනේන්ද්‍රාරාම ටැම්පිට විහාරය), is a Buddhist temple situated in the village of Warapalana in Gampaha District, Sri Lanka. The site can be reached by travelling along the Yakkala - Radawana road (B479) about a 6.7 km distance from the Yakkala junction.

According to traditional beliefs, the history of the Jinendrarama temple is going back to the latter part of the 18th century (Chandrasoma, 2013; Wijayawardhana, 2010). At that time there was not any Buddhist temple in the Warapalana area and nearby temples, such as Varana, Pilikuttuwa have located some considerable distance from the village. Therefore, this temple was established during that period (Kandyan Period) as a religious place for the Buddhists who lived in the Warapalana village (Wijayawardhana, 2010). It is said that a Buddhist monk named Veuda Vipassi Thera from Anuradhapura, had pioneered this establishment (Chandrasoma, 2013; Wijayawardhana, 2010).

The new image house of the temple has been constructed in 1922.

Tempita Viharaya
Tempita Viharas (the temples on pillars) were a popular aspect of many Buddhist temples during the Kandyan period. These structures were usually built on a wooden platform resting on bare stone pillars or stumps which are about 1-4 feet tall. The roof is generally made of timber and held by wooden stumps and wattle walls. The walls form the main enclosed shrine room containing Buddhist sculptures and murals belonging to the Kandyan style. Some Tempita Viharas have narrow verandas and ambulatories circulating the main enclosed space. The construction of these buildings started in the 17th century and lasted until the end of the 19th century (Wijayawardhana, 2010).

Jinendrarama Tempita Viharaya
The Tempita Viharaya is the main aspect of this temple with archaeological value. It has been built upon 25 granite pillars about 3 feet tall (Chandrasoma, 2013; Wijayawardhana, 2010). The roof is four-sided and paved with semi-cylindrical roof tiles (Sinhala Ulu). A stone-made flight of steps makes access to the ambulatory surrounding the Tempita image chamber. The ambulatory is about 3 feet wide and a short wall of about 3 ft. 10 in. tall runs along its outer boundary (Wijayawardhana, 2010). The total Tempita structure is about 19 feet long and 15 feet and 3 inches wide (Chandrasoma, 2013; Wijayawardhana, 2010).

The inside walls of the image chamber are adorned with paintings and sculptures belonging to the Kandyan style. The main sculpture is a seated Buddha statue accompanied by two standing Buddha statues facing each other at both the left and right walls (Chandrasoma, 2013). All the Buddha figures have halos around their bodies. On the sides of the two standing Buddha images are two deities, Vishnu and Kataragama/or Saman (Chandrasoma, 2013; Wijayawardhana, 2010).

Presently, the Tempita Viharaya has been restored and conserved by the Archaeology Department.

A protected site
The Tempita Viharaya situated in Sri Jinendrarama Vihara premises in Udututtiripitiya Grama Niladhari Wasama of the Mahara Divisional Secretary’s Division is an archaeological protected monument, declared by a government gazette notification published on 22 November 2002.

Jinendrarama Tempita Viharaya, Warapalana Jinendrarama Tempita Viharaya, Warapalana
1) Chandrasoma, S., 2013. Gampaha Distrikkaye Tempita Vihara (In Sinhala). Department of Archaeology (Sri Lanka). Colombo. ISBN: 978-955-9159-85-8. pp.13-17.
2) The Gazette of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. No: 1264. 22 November 2002.
3) Wijayawardhana, K., 2010. Sri Lankawe Tampita Vihara (In Sinhala). Dayawansa Jayakody & Company. Colombo. ISBN: 978-955-551-752-2. pp. 12,264-269.

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This page was last updated on 14 January 2023

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