Ambalangoda Sunandarama Viharaya

Sunandarama Viharaya
Sunandarama Purana Viharaya, also known as Ambalangoda Maha Pansala (Sinhala: අම්බලන්ගොඩ සුනන්දාරාම පුරාණ විහාරය), is a Buddhist temple situated in Ambalangoda in Galle District, Sri Lanka.

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
Sunandarama Viharaya
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 was constructed in 1886 by a Buddhist monk named Ambalangoda Sumangala Thera (De Silva & Chandrasekara, 2009).

Many consider this temple's three-storied bell tower a remarkable construction (Abeyawardana, 2004; Ranchagoda, 2015; De Silva & Chandrasekara, 2009). It is a storied tower of about 23 m tall (De Silva & Chandrasekara, 2009). According to the temple's chief incumbent, this bell tower's construction began around 1898 (De Silva & Chandrasekara, 2009).

A protected site
The two ancient image houses, the Stupa, preaching hall (Dharma 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.

Sunandarama Viharaya Sunandarama Viharaya
#) also extends its gratitude to Lalith Kekulthotuwage for providing the necessary photographs required for this article. All the photos are published here with the permission of the author.

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.

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This page was last updated on 14 October 2023
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