Saturday, August 7, 2021

Sunandarama Viharaya, Ambalangoda

Sunandarama Viharaya
Sunandarama Purana Viharaya (also known as Ambalangoda Maha Pansala) is a Buddhist temple situated in Ambalangoda in Galle District, Sri Lanka.

History
Sunandarama Viharaya is known as a place where a Buddhist revival took place in Southern Sri Lanka under the patronage of Ven. Weliwita Asaranasarana Sri Saranankara Sangharaja Thera [(1698-1778 A.D.) Ranchagoda, 2015]. The temple is said to have been renovated in 1799 (Abeyawardana, 2004; Ranchagoda, 2015).

Image houses & the bell tower
There are two image houses at Sunandarama Viharaya and one of them contains some paintings belonging to the maritime style of the Kandyan art tradition (Abeyawardana, 2004; Ranchagoda, 2015). These are said to have been done in 1803 by an artist named Kadolgolle Sittara (Ranchagoda, 2015). The other image house is said to have been constructed in 1886 by a Buddhist monk named Ambalangoda Sumangala Thera (De Silva & Chandrasekara, 2009).

The three-storied bell tower of this temple is considered by many as a remarkable construction (Abeyawardana, 2004; Ranchagoda, 2015; De Silva & Chandrasekara, 2009). It is a five-storied tower of about 23 m tall (De Silva & Chandrasekara, 2009). According to the chief incumbent of the temple, the construction work of this bell tower has been begun around 1898 (De Silva & Chandrasekara, 2009).

A protected site
The two ancient image houses, the Stupa, preaching hall (Darma Shalawa) and the ancient well in the territory of the Sunandarama Maha Vihara in Ambalangoda village in the Grama Niladari Division of Paniyanduwa (GND No. 84A) in the Divisional Secretary’s Division of Ambalangoda are archaeological protected monuments, declared by a government gazette notification published on 20 June 2014.

References
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.14.
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.  pp.60,85.
3) Ranchagoda, T. O., 2015. Pauranika Sthana Ha Smaraka: Galla Distrikkaya (In Sinhala). Archaeological Department of Sri Lanka. ISBN:955-9159-53-4. pp.28-30.
4) The Gazette of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. No: 1868. 20 June 2014. p.503.

Location Map
This page was last updated on 15 August 2021
For a complete tourist map follow this link: Lankapradeepa Tourist Map

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