Maduwanwela Mudalindaramaya

Maduwanwela Mudalindaramaya temple is said to have been built in 1764 under the patronage of Maduwanwela Wijesundara Ekanayaka Abeykoon Mudiyanse.
Maduwanwela Mudalindaramaya
Maduwanwela Tempita Viharaya

Maduwanwela Mudalindaramaya, also know as Maduwanwela Tempita Viharaya (Sinhala: මඩුවන්වෙල මුදලින්දාරාමය) is a Buddhist temple situated in Maduwanwela village in Ratnapura District, Sri Lanka. The famous Maduwanwela Walawwa is situated near this temple.


The Tempita Viharaya of Maduwanwela temple is said to have been built in 1764 under the patronage of Maduwanwela Wijesundara Ekanayaka Abeykoon Mudiyanse (Abeyawardana, 2002; Silva & Chandrasekara, 2021; Wijayawardhana, 2010). As mentioned in the shrine room, the sculptures and murals of the Tempita Viharaya were renovated in 2470 B.E. (1926 A.D.), during the final years of James William Maduwanwela [(known as Maduwanwela Maha Disawa) 1844-1930 A.D.], the last nod of the Maduwanwela family (Wijayawardhana, 2010).

Tempita Viharaya

Tempita Viharas (the temples on pillars) were a popular aspect of many Buddhist temples during the Kandyan Period. These structures were usually built on a wooden platform resting on bare stone pillars or stumps which are about 1-4 feet tall. The roof is generally made of timber and held by wooden stumps. The walls are usually made of wattle and daub and they form the main enclosed shrine room containing the Buddhist sculptures and murals belonging to the Kandyan style. Some Tempita Viharas have narrow verandas and ambulatories circulating the main enclosed space. Construction of these buildings started in the 17th century and lasted until the end of the 19th century (Wijayawardhana, 2010).

Maduwanwela Tempita Viharaya

The Tempita Viharaya of Maduwanwela temple has been built upon 25 stone pillars about 3 feet tall (Wijayawardhana, 2010). It is 20 feet long and 16 feet wide and the ambulatory that surrounds the shrine room is 3 feet wide (Wijayawardhana, 2010). A ribbon window of wooden balustrades placed upon a short parapet wall encloses the entire ambulatory (Silva & Chandrasekara, 2021). The four-sided roof with a short ridge at the top is borne by supportive pillars and wattle walls.

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The building can be accessed through a wooden flight of steps. Inside the shrine room is a seated Buddha statue accompanied by two images of Sariputta (left) and Moggallana (right), the two chief disciples of Gautama Buddha (Wijayawardhana, 2010). The paintings of this temple can be compared to those at Walalgoda and Omalpe Tempita Viharas (Abeyawardana, 2002).

A small open hall (a Mandapaya) has been built in front of the Tempita shrine recently.

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1) Abeyawardana, H.A.P., 2002. Heritage of Sabaragamuwa: Major natural, cultural and historic sites. Sabaragamuwa Development Bank and The Central Bank of Sri Lanka. ISBN: 955-575-077-7.  pp.35-36.
2) Silva, K.D. and Chandrasekara, D.P., 2021. The Tämpiṭavihāras of Sri Lanka: Elevated Image-Houses in Buddhist Architecture. Anthem Press. pp.138-139.
3) Wijayawardhana, K., 2010. Sri Lankawe Tampita Vihara (In Sinhala). Dayawansa Jayakody & Company. Colombo. ISBN: 978-955-551-752-2. pp.12,195-198.

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To Whom extends its gratitude to Lalith Kekulthotuwage for providing the necessary photographs required for this article. All the photos are published here with the permission of the author.

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