Friday, June 25, 2021

Hendeniya Raja Maha Viharaya

Hendeniya Raja Maha Viharaya
Photo credit: U Edg3, Google street view

Hendeniya Raja Maha Viharaya (also known as Sendeniya Viharaya) is a Buddhist temple situated in Hendeniya village in Kandy District, Sri Lanka.
History
The temple is popular for its three image houses belonging to three periods, namely Gampola Period (1341-1408 A.D.), Kandyan Period (1597-1815 A.D.), and the modern period [(after 1948) Abeyawardana, 2004; Withanachchi, 2018]. Built inside a drip-ledged cave, the image house of the Gampola Period is believed to have been constructed by Henakanda Biso Bandara, the consort of King Wikramabahu III [(1357-1374 A.D.) Abeyawardana, 2004; De Silva & Chandrasekara, 2009; Rajapakse, 2016; Senanayaka, 2018; Withanachchi, 2018]. A carved stone door-frame with traditional Sinhalese designs is found at the entrance of it (De Silva & Chandrasekara, 2009). Inside the image house is a plastered image of the seated Buddha made of stone (Withanachchi, 2018). Evidence of there to prove that this temple received the patronage of King Senasammata Vikramabahu [(1469-1511 A.D.) Abeyawardana, 2004].

The Kandyan Period image house is found to the west of the Gampola image house. It is said to have been built by Prince Wasala Bandara Samantha, the son of King Rajadhi Rajasinghe [(1782-1798 A.D.) De Silva & Chandrasekara, 2009]. However, according to other sources, it has been built in 1812 by the last king of Sri Lanka, Sri Vikrama Rajasinghe [(1798-1815 A.D.) Abeyawardana, 2004; Withanachchi, 2018]. The image house has been built on a low granite podium decorated with carvings (De Silva & Chandrasekara, 2009). A round Sandakada Pahana (moonstone) of Kandyan style is found at the entrance of the podium. Painting and sculptures belonging to the Kandyan tradition are found inside the image house.
 
The modern image house has been built inside a cave by a Buddhist monk named Ambanwela Gunaratne Thera about 50 years ago (Abeyawardana, 2004).

References
1) Abeyawardana, H.A.P., 2004. Heritage of Kandurata: Major natural, cultural and historic sites. Colombo: The Central Bank of Sri Lanka. pp.78-79.
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. pp.48,70.
3) Rajapakse, S., 2016. Pauranika Sthana Ha Smaraka: Mahanuwara Distrikkaya (In Sinhala). Archaeological Department of Sri Lanka. ISBN:955-9159-34-8. pp.63-64.
4) Senanayaka, P., 2018. Senkadagala Mahanuwara pradeshaye peranima Bauddha Vihara Arama (In Sinhala). Samodhana, The Journal of Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities. Vol.7 (1). pp.55-83.
5) Withanachchi, C.R., 2018. Madyama palate Rajamaha Viharasthana (In Sinhala). Report on the ancient Buddhist temples in the Central Province of Sri Lanka which were royally sponsored during the Kandy period. p.14.

Location Map
This page was last updated on 30 June 2021
For a complete tourist map follow this link: Lankapradeepa Tourist Map

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