Saturday, June 26, 2021

Wilwala Raja Maha Viharaya

Wilwala Raja Maha Viharaya is a Buddhist temple situated in Wilwala village in Nuwara Eliya District, Sri Lanka.
History
According to folklore, this temple is believed to have been constructed by Queen Henakanda Biso Bandara, the consort of King Wikramabahu III [(1357-1374 A.D.) Wijesinghe, 2015; Withanachchi, 2018]. However, the rock inscription found within the temple premises belonging to the reign of King Vijayabahu V of Dambadeniya [(1335-1341 A.D.) Wijesinghe, 2015; Withanachchi, 2018].

The temple & the inscription
A Buddha statue under the shade of a Makara Thorana (a dragon arch) is found inside the drip-ledged cave (Withanachchi, 2018). The statues in the image house are said to be made of wood coated with plaster (Wijesinghe, 2015). The Stupa of the temple is 1.87 m tall (Withanachchi, 2018).

The rock inscription
The inscription contains five lines of writings and has been dated in the 11th year of a king styled Sirisangabo Sri Vijayabahu who is identified with Vijayabau V [(1335-1341 A.D.) Ranawella, 2014]. It records that the king assigned certain lands as a perpetual grant to a monastery named ......galvihara (Ranawella, 2014).

A protected site
The old image house and the rock inscription of Wilwala Raja Maha Vihara situated in Wilwala village in the Divisional Secretary’s Division of Udahewaheta are archaeological protected monuments, declared by a government gazette notification published on 1 November 1996. 

References
1) Ranawella, S., 2014. Archaeological Survey of Ceylon: Inscriptions of Ceylon: Vol. VII. Department of Archaeology. ISBN: 978-955-9159-62-9. pp.83-84.
2) The Gazette of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. No: 948. 1 November 1996.
3) Wijesinghe, T.K., 2015. Pauranika Sthana Saha Smaraka: Nuwara Eliya Distrikkaya (In Sinhala). Department of Archaeology (Sri Lanka). ISBN: 955-9159-36-4. pp.30-31.
4) 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.26.

Location Map
This page was last updated on 10 July 2021
For a complete tourist map follow this link: Lankapradeepa Tourist Map

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