Rambadagalla Vidyasagara Piriven Viharaya

Rambadagalla Vidyasagara Piriven Viharaya
Rambadagalla Viharaya, also known as Vidyasagara Piriven Viharaya, Monaragala (Sinhala: රම්බඩගල්ල විද්‍යාසාගර පිරිවෙන් විහාරය), is a Buddhist temple located in the village of Rambadagalla in Kurunegala District, Sri Lanka. Presently, the temple has become an attractive place among visitors due to the recently constructed gigantic rock-hewn Buddha statue known as Rambadagalla Buddha. This statue is believed to be one of the largest rock-cut sitting Buddha statues in the world (Weerasingha, 2015).

The rock-cut Buddha Statue
An idea to construct a large Buddha statue in Rambadagalla Viharaya is said to have come as a result of the destruction of Buddhas of Bamyan in Afghanistan (Two gigantic Buddha statues known as Bamyan Buddhas, were destroyed in March 2001 by the Taliban, an Islamic military organization). Ven Egodamulle Amaramoli Thera who is the chief incumbent of the Rambadagalla temple pioneered the construction of the statue (Weerasingha, 2015). The project was helped by a large number of donors including Deivanayagam Pillai Eassuwaren (a Hindu businessman), Mahinda Rajapaksa (then Sri Lanka president), and Nirupama Rao (then Indian High Commissioner in Colombo).

The construction work of the statue was commenced in 2002 and carried out under the supervision of M. Muthiah Sthapathi, a renowned sculptor from South India and also the recipient of the "Padma Sri" award from the Indian Government (Weerasingha, 2015). The statue which is 67.5 ft. high (the total height of the statue is said to be 75 ft. with its pedestal) was completed after more than one decade and officially unveiled to the public on 30 April 2015 by the then-Sri Lanka President Maithripala Sirisena (Weerasingha, 2015).

The Compassionate Buddha of the Rock
In 2018, a book under the title "The Compassionate Buddha of the Rock" which deals with the historical significance of the Samadhi Buddha statue in the Rambadagalla temple was released coinciding with the first year remembrance of its late author, Deivanayagam Pillai Eassuwaren. 

See also
#) The Stone-cut Buddha at Selgiri Viharaya

1) Beautiful Buddha Statue by VINUK86 is licensed under CC BY SA 4.0

1) Weerasingha, I., 2015. Religious perception with colossal masterpieces: a case study of the world’s largest Samadhi Buddha Statue at Rambodagalla temple, Kurunegala, Sri Lanka. Sixth International Conference of the South and Southeast Asian Association for the Study of Culture and Religion (SSEASR), Center for Asian Studies of the University of Kelaniya, Sri Lanka. (Abstract) p.39.

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This page was last updated on 5 November 2023

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