Pathahawatta Viharaya (Bandaragama)

Pathahawatta Viharaya
Photo credit: Google Street View

Pathahawatta Raja Maha Viharaya (Sinhala: බණ්ඩාරගම පතහවත්ත විහාරය) is a Buddhist temple situated in Bandaragama in Kalutara District, Sri Lanka.

The land where the Pathahawatta Viharaya stands today is believed to be the site of the palace complex of the Raigam Kingdom [(16th century) De Silva & Chandrasekara, 2009]. After the incident known as Vijayaba Kollaya, Prince Raigam Bandara is said to have resided here. It is said that the treasures of this palace were removed to Sitawaka by the brother of Raigam Bandara after his death in 1539 (Abeyawardana, 2002).

The modern temple at the site, according to some, has been built by a monk named Kothalawala Swarnajothi Thera in 1817 (De Silva & Chandrasekara, 2009). However, according to another source, it was built in 1889 by Narangaspitiya Sudassa Thera (Abeyawardana, 2002).

The temple
This monastic site extends in an area of about 4.5 acres and the remains of an ancient rampart made of Kabok (laterite) of about 8 ft. wide are found around it. An old pond made of Kabok stones is found at the entrance to the temple and locals believe that it was the bathing pond used by Raigam Bandara. The pond is 80 ft. in length and 60 ft. in width. It was restored and conserved by the Department of Archaeology in 2013-2014. 

Stone bases of pillars, urinary stones with simple decorations, a water spout in the shape of an elephant trunk, moonstones are among the other ruins found within the temple premises.
A protected site
The ancient stone works and Pathaha pond situated in the Pathahawatta premises (present Patahawatta Raja Maha Vihara) in Raigama village in the Divisional Secretary’s Division of Bandaragama, are archaeological protected monuments, declared by a government notification published on 16 February 1968.

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.  pp.115-116.
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.67.
3) The government gazette notification. No: 14789. 16 February 1968.

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This page was last updated on 12 January 2023

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