Mawela Malwathu Tempita Viharaya

Mawela Malwathu Tempita Viharaya is a Buddhist temple situated in Pahala-Kadugannawa in Kegalle District, Sri Lanka.

The history of this temple, according to local belief, runs back to the Dambadeniya Period (Abeyawardana, 2002). It is said that this Vihara has been erected in a flower garden which belonged to Giriba Sunethra Devi, a consort of King Buvanekabahu (Abeyawardana, 2002; De Silva & Chandrasekara, 2009). She is credited with the erection of this temple (Abeyawardana, 2002).

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 was started in the 17th century and lasted until the end of the 19th century (Wijayawardhana, 2010).

Mawela Malwathu Tempita Viharaya
The Tempita Viharaya is the main monument of this temple with archaeological value. It is said to have been built between 1812-1815 with the patronage of Molligoda Adikaram (Abeyawardana, 2002).

The Tempita Viharaya consists of three components; the entrance porch, the central shrine on pillars, and the single-storied portion (De Silva & Chandrasekara, 2009). The central shrine has been built upon 21 stone pillars about 2.38 m tall and a wooden flight of steps provide access to it from the floor. The year 1939 has been engraved on the beginning post of the steps. The inner space of the shrine room is filled with a seated Buddha statue, six standing Buddha statues and murals belonging to the Kandyan tradition (De Silva & Chandrasekara, 2009).

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.  p.56.
2) De Silva, N.; Chandrasekara, D.P., 2009. Heritage Buildings of Sri Lanka. Colombo: The National Trust Sri Lanka, ISBN: 978-955-0093-01-4. p.41.
3) Wijayawardhana, K., 2010. Sri Lankawe Tampita Vihara (In Sinhala). Dayawansa Jayakody & Company. Colombo. ISBN: 978-955-551-752-2. p. 12.

Location Map
This page was last updated on 27 March 2021
For a complete tourist map follow this link: Lankapradeepa Tourist Map

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