Saturday, July 11, 2020

Metiyagane Mayurawathi Raja Maha Viharaya

Metiyagane Mayurawathi Raja Maha Viharaya
Mayurawathi Raja Maha Viharaya is a Buddhist temple located in the village of Metiyagane in Kurunagala District, Sri Lanka.

History
The history of Mayurawathi temple, according to the locals, goes back to the Anuradhapura period (Anuradha & Kumari, 2015). It is believed that this temple was established in the invitation of Mayurawathi Deviya, the daughter of King Devanampiyatissa [(307-267 A.D.) Anuradha & Kumari, 2015]. It is also said that this was the temple where Buddhaputra Sthavira of Mayurapada Pirivena, the author of the Pujavaliya (a Sinhalese classic written in the 13th century), lived (Anuradha & Kumari, 2015). However, a rock inscription found in-situ reveals that this temple was known among the people as "Mati Vihara" in the 1st century A.D.

Matiyagane rock inscription
Matiyagane rock inscription
Period : 1st century A.D.
Script  : Later Brahmi
Language : Old Sinhala
Content   : This inscription records about the donation of two types of taxes from the Kadahaka tank and from the place known as Silaviya to the resident monks of the Mati Vihara (Matiyagane Vihara).
Reference: The information board at the site by the Department of Archaeology and the Ministry of National Heritage.

The temple is said to be renovated by several rulers. The name of the temple is mentioned in a copper plate issued in 1429 by King Parakramabahu VI (1412-1467 A.D.) of Kotte Kingdom. A silver plate grant issued in 1675 by King Rajasinghe II (1635-1687 A.D.) of the Kandyan Kingdom reveals that the king had added a new section called Uda Maluwa Viharaya to the temple and bestowed it to a Buddhist monk named Gunadahe Dammadassi Thera of Asgiri Viharaya.

The temple
A number of rock caves with drip-ledges used by meditating monks in ancient times are found in the temple premises. The main image house of the temple is situated inside a large rock cave located on a high terrace. Inside the image house, a small Stupa and three statues of Buddha in Samadhi, reclining, and standing postures are found. 

The small Stupa in the image house
Small Stupas are believed to have been built in Sri Lankan temples during the 5-10 centuries A.D. (Anuradha & Kumari, 2015). The small Stupa in the image house of Mayurawathi temple is said to have been erected to commemorate Mayurawathi Deviya whose jewelry, according to folklore, has been enshrined inside it (Anuradha & Kumari, 2015). However, the dome of the Stupa has been destroyed by treasure hunters in the recent past in search of treasures hidden inside it.

A protected site
The rock with the inscription, ancient image house, and drip-ledged caves located in Metiyagane Mayurawathi Raja Maha Vihara premises in the Divisional Secretary’s Division, Narammala are archaeological protected monuments, declared by a government Gazette notification published on 27 July 2001.

Metiyagane Mayurawathi temple Metiyagane Mayurawathi Vihara Metiyagane Viharaya
.
References
1) Anuradha, R.K.S.; Kumari, A.S., 2015. Pauranika Sthana Saha Smaraka: Kurunegala Distrikkaya (In Sinhala). Department of Archaeology (Sri Lanka). ISBN: 955-9159-37-2. pp.25-26.
2) The Gazette of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. no: 1195. 27 July 2001.

Location Map

This page was last updated on 11 July 2020
For a complete tourist map follow this link: Lankapradeepa Tourist Map

0 comments:

Post a Comment