Danthure Raja Maha Viharaya

Danthure Purana Raja Maha Viharaya is a Buddhist temple situated in Danture village in Kandy District, Sri Lanka.

The area where the present temple stands is known as Danthapura in ancient times (Abeyawardana, 2004). It is believed that this locality had been gifted to Prince Dantha who brought the sacred Tooth Relic of the Buddha to Sri Lanka during the reign of King Kithsirimewan [(304-332 A.D.) Abeyawardana, 2004]. It is said Prince Dantha and Princess Hemamala had stayed here for seven weeks before they left for Anuradhapura (De Silva & Chandrasekara, 2009). To honour this event, King Kitsirimewan constructed a temple at this site and bestowed it to Buddhist monks (De Silva & Chandrasekara, 2009). 

Campaign of Danthure
The battle between King Wimaladarmasuriya I (1590-1604 A.D.) and the Portuguese occurred at Danture in 1594 (Abeyawardana, 2004).

The Tempita Viharaya
The Tempita Viharaya or the two-storey image house of this temple is said to have been built during the reign of King Kirti Sri Rajasinghe [(1747-1782 A.D.) Rajapakse, 2016]. It has two parts; the Ihala Viaharaya (upper image house) and the Pahala Viharaya [(lower image house) De Silva & Chandrasekara, 2009]. The upper image house has been built on stone columns while the lower image house on a raised platform on the ground floor (De Silva & Chandrasekara, 2009). The inside walls of both image houses are adorned with paintings of the Kandyan Period.

A protected site
The Tempita Viharaya in the premises of Danture Raja Maha Vihara situated in the Divisional Secretary’s Division Yatinuwara is an archaeological protected monument, declared by a government gazette notification published on 4 May 1971.

1) Abeyawardana, H.A.P., 2004. Heritage of Kandurata: Major natural, cultural and historic sites. Colombo: The Central Bank of Sri Lanka. p.91.
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.23.
3) Rajapakse, S., 2016. Pauranika Sthana Ha Smaraka: Mahanuwara Distrikkaya (In Sinhala). Archaeological Department of Sri Lanka. ISBN:955-9159-34-8. pp.88-89.
3) The Government Gazette notification: No: 14958. 4 May 1971.

Location Map
This page was last updated on 1 July 2022
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