Yatagala Raja Maha Viharaya

Yatagala Raja Maha Viharaya
Yatagala Raja Maha Viharaya (Sinhala: යටගල විහාරය) is a Buddhist temple situated in Yatagama village in Unawatuna in Galle District, Sri Lanka.

Locals believe that this temple was established during the reign of King Devanampiyatissa (250-210 A.D.) by planting a sapling of the Jaya Sri Maha Bodhiya in Anuradhapura (Abeyawardana, 2004; Samanthi, 1999).

A small inscription is found near the steps but its view has been obscured by the large standing Buddha statue constructed in front of the rock (Abeyawardana, 2004). Another inscription is said to be under the drip-ledge of the cave where the present image house stands (Abeyawardana, 2004).

The history of this temple is also associated with King Parakramabahu II [(1236-1270 A.D.) Abeyawardana, 2004; Samanthi, 1999]. The Buddha in the image house and the Stupa are said to have been done in the Dambadeniya Period (Abeyawardana, 2004; Samanthi, 1999). The paintings that adorn the inner walls date from the Kandyan Period but have been repainted about 100 years ago (Abeyawardana, 2004).

In 1891, an education centre named "Hettawala Pirivena" was established in the temple (Samanthi, 1999).

The temple
The temple is located on the slope of a hilly area with a few caves. It consists of a Stupa, Bodhi tree, image house, Uposathagara (chapter house), Dhammasala (preaching hall), Sanghawasa (monks' dwellings), Danasala (refectory), and library. Of them, the Stupa, Bodhi tree and the image house are located at the Uda-maluwa (the upper terrace). A flight of steps provide access to the upper terrace.


1) Abeyawardana, H.A.P., 2004. Heritage of Ruhuna: Major natural, cultural and historic sites. Colombo: The Central Bank of Sri Lanka. ISBN: 955-575-073-4. pp.31-32.
2) Samanthi, L.K.N., 1999. Architectural concepts of Buddhist places of worship: an examination of the architectural concepts of Buddhist places of worship in rural and urban settings with special reference to Southern Province. A dissertation submitted to the University of Moratuwa as a partial fulfilment of the requirements for the Degree of Master of Science in Architecture. pp.64-78.

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This page was last updated on 22 March 2022

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