Monday, August 30, 2021

Mihiripenna Ariyakara Viharaya

Ariyakara Viharaya is a Buddhist temple situated in Mihiripenna Talpe village in Galle District, Sri Lanka.

History
This temple is said to have been established in 1778. According to folklore, an aristocratic Dutch lady who was suffering from paralysis had taken treatments from a local doctor and subsequently got cured. Becoming happy, the lady gifted a land at Mihiripenna to the doctor as a deed of gratitude. That land was later bestowed for Buddhist monks and the present Ariyakara temple is said to have been built on it.

The name Mihiripenna is mentioned in ancient Sandesha Kavyas (message poems) composed in Kotte Period such as Mayura, Thisara, Paravi, Kovul (Ranchagoda, 2015). It is said that this temple was known in ancient times by several names like Padumaramaya, Piyumaramaya, Pushparamaya etc. According to the belief of some, the limestone for building the ramparts of Galle Fort has been taken from Lansiyawatta, an area located near this temple.

In 1796, a Buddhist monk named Dhammarathana Thera began constructing the components of the present temple. The Dhamma Shalawa (the preaching hall) was built in 1807 (Ranchagoda, 2015) and the Stupa was built in 1810. 

Paintings & sculptures
Although many have been repainted or altered, some old paintings belonging to the maritime style of the Kandyan tradition are found in the inner chamber of the image house (Ranchagoda, 2015). The standing Buddha statue in the image house shows features of the Kandyan art tradition (Ranchagoda, 2015). Some paintings depicting Jataka tales such as Mahasara, Nigrodhamiga are found on the walls of the preaching hall (Ranchagoda, 2015).

References
1) Ranchagoda, T. O., 2015. Pauranika Sthana Ha Smaraka: Galla Distrikkaya (In Sinhala). Archaeological Department of Sri Lanka. ISBN:955-9159-53-4. pp.32-33.
 
Location Map
This page was last updated on 30 August 2021
For a complete tourist map follow this link: Lankapradeepa Tourist Map

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