Sunday, March 21, 2021

Wewurukannala Viharaya

Wewurukannala Viharaya
Wewurukannala Purana Viharaya is a Buddhist temple situated in Dikwella in Matara District, Sri Lanka. The temple is famous among devotees due to its gigantic seated Buddha statue of about 160 feet (49 m) tall (De Thabrew, 2013).

History
This temple has three image houses and the oldest of them belongs to the Kandyan Period. It is believed to have been built in the latter part of the 18th century, probably around 1780 (Abeyawardana, 2004). The second oldest image house has been built in 1899 and the last one in a more recent date (Abeyawardana, 2004). 

The preaching hall of this temple is said to have been constructed in the late 19th century (Abeyawardana, 2004). However, the Pirit-Mandapaya, a wooden chamber where monks perform Pirit chanting has the date "18th July 1839" marked on it (Abeyawardana, 2004). This Mandapaya has been made out of jack-wood and decorated with traditional designs and paintings depicting Jataka stories (Abeyawardana, 2004). The building which is being used as the residence of monks is said to have been built in the early 20th century (Abeyawardana, 2004).

There is a locally manufactured chiming clock in the temple premises and it is said to have been invented by a juvenile offender named W. Elaris Silva in 1927 (Abeyawardana, 2004). The incumbent of the Wewurukannala temple at the time purchased it from Elaris on payment of Rs. 3,000 (Abeyawardana, 2004). 

A protected site
The ancient image house and Uposathagara belonging to the Wewrukannala Rajamaha Vihara situated in the Grama Niladhari Division of Wewrukannala in Dikwella Divisional Secretary’s Division are archaeological protected monuments, declared by a government gazette notification published on 23 November 2012.

Attribution
1) Wewurukannala Vihara by pixel.fabian is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

References
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. p.83.
2) De Thabrew, W. V., 2013. Monuments and Temples of Orthodox Buddhism in India and Sri Lanka. Author House. p.72.
3) The Gazette of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, no: 1786. 23 November 2012. p.1188.

Location Map
This page was last updated on 3 April 2021
For a complete tourist map follow this link: Lankapradeepa Tourist Map

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