Friday, May 14, 2021

Lenawara Raja Maha Viharaya, Haltota

Lenawara Raja Maha Viharaya
Photo credit: Udaya Gunathilaka, Google street view

Lenawara Raja Maha Viharaya is a Buddhist temple situated in Haltota in Kalutara District, Sri Lanka.

History
According to local beliefs, the history of this temple runs back to the reign of King Devanampiyatissa (247-207 B.C.). It is said that a Brahmin who came over to the country during the days of this king, had taken up residence close to this temple (Abeyawardana, 2002). Locals further believe that he handed down a traditional method to treat catarrh and presently, Lenawara temple is famous among the people as a place of treating catarrh (Abeyawardana, 2002). 
 
During the reign of King Parakramabahu VI (1412-1467 A.D.) this temple had become a prominent religious place (Abeyawardana, 2002). The Pepiliyana Sunetradevi Pirivena slab inscription of Parakramabahu VI records grants made to Lenavara cave temple of Raigama (Abeyawardana, 2002; Rohanadeera, 2007).

The temple
The temple consists of a Stupa, a cave temple, a Visnu Devalaya, a Bodhi-tree and other monastic buildings. The cave temple, Stupa and the Bodhi-tree are located at different levels. A large reclining statue of the Buddha is found inside the cave temple (Abeyawardana, 2002).
 
References
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.115.
2) Rohanadeera, M., 2007. Archaeological Survey of Ceylon: Inscriptions of Ceylon. (Vol. VIII). Department of Archaeology. ISBN: 978-955-91-59-64-3. pp.40-42.

Location Map
This page was last updated on 16 May 2021
For a complete tourist map follow this link: Lankapradeepa Tourist Map

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