Sunday, July 25, 2021

Sunandarama Pirivena, Ovitigala

Sunandarama Pirivena, Ovitigala
Sunandarama Pirivena is a Buddhist temple situated in Ovitigala in Kalutara District, Sri Lanka.

History
This temple is said to have been established in the second half of the 19th century. Induruwe Medhankara Thera was the first incumbent of the temple.

The image house
Murals in the image house
The old image house of Sunandarama Viharaya is considered the most important monument of the temple. It mainly consists of two parts; the inner chamber and the outer chamber (the vestibule). The inner chamber contains three Buddha statues in the seated, standing and the reclining postures. An entrance decorated with Makara Thorana (the dragon arch) provides access to this chamber. The walls and the ceiling of the outer chamber are filled with old murals depicting Buddhist themes such as Sath Sathiya (the first seven weeks after the enlightenment), Suvisi Vivaranaya (Buddha to be receiving the blessing from 24 previous Buddhas), and some important events in the life of the Buddha.

Two male figures wearing a colonial dress
The entrance door of the inner chamber is flanked by two lions and two guardian statues. Adjacent to the guardian statues are the paintings of two male figures wearing a dress of the colonial period. The black coat, tight-fitting breeches, pointed shoes have given these figures a western appearance and the white halo around their crowned heads have increased their status among other figures in the vestibule. As both figures have the same features, they probably represent the same person. However, of the two figures, one holds a brown leather-bound book by his right hand.

The front cover as well as the spine of this book contain some words written in Roman and Devanagari characters. The Roman scripts on the front cover label this book as "Denapota" which is probably the incorrect form of the original word "Dinapotha" (Sinhala: the diary), because the word written in Devanagari characters above this Roman word can be pronounced as "Dinapota". The Devanagari word on the spine of the book says "Me Potha" which can be translated from Sinhala to English as "this book". The year 1827 is also denoted in this book.

A protected site
The old Vihara-geya (image house) of Sunandarama Viharaya, situated in Ovitigala village in the Divisional Secretary’s Division of Matugama is an archaeological protected monument, declared by a government gazette notification published on 1 November 1996. 

Sunandarama Pirivena, Ovitigala .
References
1) The Gazette of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. No: 948. 1 November 1996.

Location Map
This page was last updated on 25 July 2021
For a complete tourist map follow this link: Lankapradeepa Tourist Map

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