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Maraluwawa Raja Maha Viharaya

Maraluwawa Raja Maha Viharaya
Maraluwawa Sri Pushpadeva Arahantha Viharaya (Sinhala: මරළුවාව රජමහා විහාරය) is a Buddhist temple situated in Maraluwawa village in Kurunegala District, Sri Lanka.

As evident by the inscriptions in-situ, the history of this temple probably runs back to the 1st century A.D. (Anuradha & Kumari, 2015). However, the Andagala copper plate grant by King Kirti Sri Rajasinghe (1748-1798 A.D.) reveals that this temple was renovated during the reign of King Dutugemunu [(161-137 A.D.) Nawarathne & Rathnayake, 2020].

A number of inscriptions dating from the 1st century A.D. to the 7th century A.D. have been found at the site (Anuradha & Kumari, 2015; Nicholas, 1963). In the earliest of them, Ratavahanaka-mahanakara and a Vihara of the same name are mentioned (Nicholas, 1963).

Maraluwawa rock inscriptions
Period: 4th-5th centuries A.D.          Script: Transitional Brahmi          Language: Old Sinhala
Contents: These inscriptions mention the names of some tanks (such as Pakara, Matha, Cetavila etc.) and watercourses (such as Siraketha, Mahawaka ratha etc.). Also, they mention that Lahithaka of Thihapakara and Sayalawa of Kepuwila were freed from slavery. There are more than ten such inscriptions on the temple premises.
Reference: The information board at the site by the Director-General of Archaeology.

The temple
A worn rock inscription written in characters of the 1-4th centuries A.D. is found on the rock surface near the present Stupa (Anuradha & Kumari, 2015). A drip-ledged cave named Potgul-Lena is also found near to it (Anuradha & Kumari, 2015).

The Vihara-ge (the image house) of the Maraluwawa temple is believed to have been done during the Kandyan Period (Anuradha & Kumari, 2015). A pillar inscription containing Sinhala and Tamil scripts is found in front of it (Anuradha & Kumari, 2015).

Maraluwawa Raja Maha Viharaya .
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. p.57.
2) Nawarathne, S.A.L.I. and Rathnayake, R.M.S.K., 2020. Andagala thamba-sannasin heliwana Maraluwawa Rajamaha Viharaye aithihasika pasubima (In Sinhala). p.114.
3) Nicholas, C. W., 1963. Historical topography of ancient and medieval Ceylon. Journal of the Ceylon Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society, New Series (Vol VI). Special Number: Colombo. Royal Asiatic Society (Ceylon Branch). p.104.

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This page was last updated on 17 January 2023

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