Sunday, March 1, 2020

Niyamgamdora Viharaya and Pattini Devalaya

Niyamgamdora Pattini Devalaya
The temple complex of  Niyamgamdora Viharaya and Pattini Devalaya is situated in Kothmale in Nuwara Eliya District, Sri Lanka. The site is located on the wayside of Tawalantenna-Thalawakele road about 5.5 km distance from the Kothmale new town.

Viharaya
The Niyamgamdora Buddha
Niyamgamdora is said to be the locality where King Vijayabahu III of Dambadeniya organized the procession that carrying the sacred Tooth Relic of the Buddha to the city of Dambadeniya (Abeywardana, 2004).

The Niyamgamdora Viharaya is considered as the first monastery in upcountry reserved for the monks of the Mulgirigala lineage in southern Sri Lanka. The Mulgirigala lineage of monks is said to be established by Vatarakgoda Dhammapala Thera during the revival of the Buddhist order by Weliwita Sri Saranankara Thera [(1698-1778 A.D.) Abeywardana, 2004].

Devalaya
Niyamgamdora Pattii Devalaya
The Niyamgamdora Devalaya is believed to be established during the Gampola Period [(1341–1408 A.D.) Wijesinghe, 2015]. It has been dedicated to Pattini, the patron goddess of fertility and health. According to folklore, this shrine has been built on a place indicated by Goddess Pattini to an old woman (Abeywardana, 2004).

The shrine
Niyamgamdora Pattini Devalaya can be considered as the main aspect of this temple with an archaeological significance. It has been built upon six granite pillars and therefore, called as a Tempita shrine (the temple of pillars). The granite pillars are about 2.5 ft tall and fixed on an elevated basement (Wijesinghe, 2015). The chamber of the goddess is made of wattle walls and a wooden staircase provides access to it. An attached vestibule is found in front of the goddess chamber.

A protected site
The Pattini Devalaya, Aluth Nuwara Devalaya and the old Bodhi Prakaraya situated in the Niyamgamdora ancient Pattini Devala premises and ancient Rajamaha Vihara premises in the Niyamgamdora Grama Niladhari Wasama of the Kothmale Divisional Secretary’s Division are archaeological protected monuments, declared by a government gazette notification published on 30 December 2011.  

A carved pillar The Bodhi-tree
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References
1) Abeywardana, H.A.P., 2004. Heritage of Kandurata: Major natural, cultural and historic sites. Colombo: The Central Bank of Sri Lanka. pp.228, 231, 237-238.
2) The Gazette of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. No: 1739. 30 December 2011. p.1092.
3) Wijesinghe, T.K., 2015. Pauranika Sthana Saha Smaraka: Nuwara Eliya Distrikkaya (In Sinhala). Department of Archaeology (Sri Lanka). ISBN: 955-9159-36-4. p.71.

Location Map

This page was last updated on 4 April 2020
For a complete tourist map follow this link: Lankapradeepa Tourist Map

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