Kumarakanda Maha Viharaya

Kumarakanda Maha Viharaya
Photo credit: Jaufer Mohamed, Google Street View

Kumarakanda Maha Viharaya (Sinhala: කුමාරකන්ද මහා විහාරය) is a Buddhist temple situated in Ambalangoda in Galle District, Sri Lanka.

As inscribed on one of the walls, the image house of this temple has been built in 1884 A.D. and its paintings have been redone in 1939 (De Silva & Chandrasekara, 2009). Some valuable documents belonging to the Dutch Period (1640-1796 A.D.) as well as to several notable people such as Hikkaduwe Sri Sumangala Thera (1827-1911 A.D.), Henry Steel Olcott (1832-1907 A.D.), Anagarika Dharmapala (1864-1933 A.D.) are preserved in the archive of this temple (Abeyawardana, 2004).

The image house
The old image house of Kumarakanda Viharaya is considered an important monument of archaeological value. It contains paintings belonging to the low-country style of the Kandyan art tradition (Ranchagoda, 2015). These are said to have been done by artists in the southern province in the latter part of the 18th century (Ranchagoda, 2015). The architecture of this image house is similar to the typical European church architecture (Abeyawardana, 2004; De Silva & Chandrasekara, 2009).

A protected site
The ancient image house of the Kumarakanda Vihara in Kumarakanda village in the Grama Niladari Division of Wellabodapattu in the Divisional Secretary’s Division of Balapitiya is an archaeological protected monument, declared by a government gazette notification published on 13 December 1974. 
1) Abeyawardana, H.A.P., 2004. Heritage of Ruhuna: Major natural, cultural and historic sites. Colombo: The Central Bank of Sri Lanka. ISBN: 955-575-073-4. p.19.
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.59.
3) Ranchagoda, T. O., 2015. Pauranika Sthana Ha Smaraka: Galla Distrikkaya (In Sinhala). Archaeological Department of Sri Lanka. ISBN:955-9159-53-4. pp.44-45.
4) The government gazette notification. No: 142. 13 December 1974.

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This page was last updated on 30 April 2023

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