Thursday, August 12, 2021

Hingula Tempita Viharaya

Hingula Tempita Viharaya is a Buddhist temple situated in Hingula village in Kegalle District, Sri Lanka.

History
This Viharaya is believed to be an important religious place as the locality of this temple is mentioned in the "Nampotha", an ancient Sinhalese text that lists the principal Buddhist temples in Sri Lanka during the 15th century.  
 
In the 18th century, this temple was renamed Kirthi Sri Rajamaha Viharaya due to the involvement of King Kirthi Sri Rajasinghe (1747-1782 A.D.) in the restoration of the dilapidated temple that existed at this place (Abeyawardana, 2002; Wijayawardhana, 2010). A Buddhist monk named Kappagoda Sobitha Thera of the Welivita community of monks is said to have developed this temple during the Kandyan Period (Abeyawardana, 2002; Wijayawardhana, 2010).

Tempita Viharaya
Tempita Viharas (the temples on pillars) were a popular aspect of many Buddhist temples during the Kandyan period. These structures were usually built on a wooden platform resting on bare stone pillars or stumps which are about 1-4 feet tall. The roof is generally made of timber and held by wooden stumps. The walls are usually made of wattle and daub and they form the main enclosed shrine room containing the Buddhist sculptures and murals belonging to the Kandyan style. Some Tempita Viharas have narrow verandas and ambulatories circulating the main enclosed space. The construction of these buildings were started in the 17th century and lasted until the end of the 19th century (Wijayawardhana, 2010).

Hingula Tempita Viharaya
The Tempita Viharaya is the main monument of this temple with archaeological value. It is a 20 ft. by 17 ft. building balanced on 13 stone stumps of about 6 ft. tall (Abeyawardana, 2002; Wijayawardhana, 2010). The shrine room is 12 ft. 6 in. in length and 9 ft. 6 in. in width and an open-ambulatory has been built around it (Wijayawardhana, 2010). The ambulatory is 3 ft. wide and the roof of this shrine has been covered with Pethi Ulu (flat clay tiles) and Rata Ulu [(calicut clay tiles) Wijayawardhana, 2010].

A Buddha statue of about 7 cubits in height is found inside the shrine room (Abeyawardana, 2002). The inner walls have been painted with murals depicting Suvisi Vivaranaya (Buddha to be receiving the blessing from 24 previous Buddhas) and the 45 places where the Buddha spent his rainy seasons (Abeyawardana, 2002). Paintings including lotus decorations, Palapethi, trees and creepers are found on the ceiling of the shrine room.

A protected site
The Tampita Viharaya in the premises of Hingula Rajamaha Vihara in the Grama Niladhari Division of Hugula in the Divisional Secretariat Division of Mawanella is an archaeological protected monument, declared by a government gazette notification published on 6 July 2007.
 
References
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.  p.55.
2) The Gazette of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. No: 1505. 6 July 2007. p.549.
3) Wijayawardhana, K., 2010. Sri Lankawe Tampita Vihara (In Sinhala). Dayawansa Jayakody & Company. Colombo. ISBN: 978-955-551-752-2. pp.12,295-297.

Location Map
This page was last updated on 12 August 2021
For a complete tourist map follow this link: Lankapradeepa Tourist Map

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