Thursday, April 15, 2021

Sirimalwatta Raja Maha Viharaya

Sirimalwatta Raja Maha Viharaya is a Buddhist temple situated in Sirimalwatta village in Kandy District, Sri Lanka. The old wayside rest Sirimalwatta Ambalama is located near this temple.

History
Sirimalwatta village
According to folklore, the history of Sirimalwatta village where the temple located is going back to the days of King Saddhatissa [(137-119 B.C.) ] Abeyawardana, 2004]. It is said that the king had grown jasmine flowers in this village and ordered to bring them to be offered to the Ruwanweliseya Stupa at Anuradhapura before they blossom (Abeyawardana, 2004). The garden where Hirimal flowers (flowers which didn't blossom) collected later became Sirimalwatta (Abeyawardana, 2004).
 
The temple
According to folklore, this temple was founded during the reign of King Devanampiyatissa (247-207 B.C.) and developed later by King Vimaladharmasuriya II [(1687-1707 A.D.) Rajapakse, 2016]. The name of the temple is mentioned in Nampota, an ancient Sinhalese text which is considered to have been compiled after the 14th century.
 
However, some consider this temple as one of the Viharas established under the patronage of King Kirti Sri Rajasinghe [(1747-1782 A.D.) Karunaratna & Ambanwala, 2010]. The rock inscription that has been engraved on a rock located near the temple land indicate the antiquity of this temple (Karunaratna & Ambanwala, 2010).
 
The temple
The temple comprises a Stupa, image house, preaching hall, Bodhi-tree, and monk dwellings. The image house shows architectural features of both Kandyan and Dutch (Karunaratna & Ambanwala, 2010). The short walls and round pillars bear the roof of the image house. Three seated Buddha statues and twenty-one standing statues are found inside the image house (Rajapakse, 2016).

References
1) Abeyawardana, H.A.P., 2004. Heritage of Kandurata: Major natural, cultural and historic sites. Colombo: The Central Bank of Sri Lanka. p.112.
2) Karunaratna, M., Ambanwala, C, 2010. Sirimalwatta Rajamaha Viharaya (In Sinhala). Dinithi: Vol. 1: Issue IV. ISSN 2012-7189. p.18.
3) Rajapakse, S., 2016. Pauranika Sthana Ha Smaraka: Mahanuwara Distrikkaya (In Sinhala). Archaeological Department of Sri Lanka. ISBN:955-9159-34-8. pp.105-106.
 
Location Map
This page was last updated on 15 April 2021
For a complete tourist map follow this link: Lankapradeepa Tourist Map

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