Saturday, November 30, 2019

Kossinna Yatawatta Raja Maha Viharaya

Kossinna Yatawatta Viharaya
Kossinna Yatawatta Raja Maha Viharaya is a Buddhist temple located in the village of Kossinna in Gampaha District, Sri Lanka.

A ruined building at Kossinna temple
During the reign of King Parakramabahu VIII (1490-1509 A.D.), many Buddhist temples were built around the country. Jayapala Deva Pathiraja, one of the ministers of the king also engaged in establishing Buddhist temples in several places on the island. The Kossinna Raja Maha Viharaya in Gampaha District is believed to be one such temple established by Jayapala Deva Pathiraja (Chandananda Thera, 2009). 

"Kossinna" is the village where the present temple is situated. The name, Kossinna is thought to have been evolved from "Koswinna" meaning a grove of Jack trees (Gunasekara, 1887). According to popular beliefs, Jayapala Deva Pathiraja had removed a Madel forest that existed in the present temple area and grown a grove of Jack trees there (Chandananda Thera, 2009). He constructed a complete Buddhist temple (present Kossinna Viharaya) at a high ground within this grove and invited King Parakramabahu VIII to bestow it to Buddhist monks. The king who came for the bestowal ceremony ("Vihara Puja") planted a Bodhi-tree at the place where the present Kudumirissa Viharaya stands (Chandananda Thera, 2009) and established a rock inscription at the same site to declare a royal decree.

Image house
The seated Buddha, Kossinna temple
The image house of Kossinna temple is archaeologically important. It is about 273ft long, 14.8ft wide and has been built on an elevated rectangular-shaped platform (Lakmali et al., 2017). 

A seated Buddha statue accompanied by two figures of Sariputta (left) and Moggallana (right), the two chief disciples of Gautama Buddha, are found inside the image house. Two standing statues of Buddha are also found facing each other at both left and right walls (Lakmali et al., 2017). The inner walls of the shrine contain no empty spaces and are filled with the paintings of various decorative motifs. A "Makara Thorana"(a dragon arch) with the images of deities and doorkeepers adorn the front of the entrance wall. The outer walls, except the entrance wall, are not decorated with any sculptures or murals. The existing paintings and sculptures, according to their artistic features, are belonging to the Kandyan period [(1469-1815 A.D.) Lakmali et al., 2017].

A protected site
The ancient image house, Devalaya and the Stupa located on the premises of Kossinna Raja Maha Vihara in the Grama Niladari Division of Kossinna in the Divisional Secretary’s Division of Gampaha are archaeological protected monuments, declared by a government Gazette notification published on 22 November 2002.

The bell tower Kossinna temple image house Kossinna Viharaya Kossinna temple
1) Chandananda Thera, R., 2009. Siyanepuren Siyaratata Abhimanayak Vu Yatawathu Vehera Ha Kossini Sanga Parapura (In Sinhala). Abhisthava. pp.XLIII-LI.
2) Gunasekara, M. B., 1887. Three Sinhalese Inscriptions: Text, transliteration, translation and notes#Inscription at Kudumirisa. Journal of the Ceylon Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society. Vol. X. No. 34. pp. 95-102.
3) Lakmali, A.S., Priyamali, A.S., Madhushani, E.P. and Chandrasiri, T.M.J., 2017. කොස්සින්න යටවත්ත රජමහ විහාරයෙහි ඇති ඉපැරණි විහාර මන්දිරය පිළිබඳව විමර්ශනයක්. 2nd Undergraduates' Research Conference 2017 (URACT). p.13.
4) The Gazette of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. No: 1264. 22 November 2002

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This page was last updated on 30 November 2019


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