Bothale Raja Maha Viharaya

Bothale Raja Maha Viharaya
Sri Gotabaya Raja Maha Viharaya or popularly known as Bothale Raja Maha Viharaya (Sinhala: බෝතලේ ශ්‍රී ගෝඨාභය රජ මහා විහාරය) is a Buddhist temple situated in Bothale village in Gampaha District, Sri Lanka. The old wayside rest, Bothale Ambalama is located 1 km south of this temple.

The history of this temple runs back to the Anuradhapura Period. According to folklore, King Gotabhaya (254-267 A.D.) wanted to build a Viharaya at Attanagalla after King Sirisamghabodhi (252-254 A.D.) gave up his life there. He obtained a sapling from the Sri Maha Bodhi Tree at Anuradhapura to plant there and started the journey with his crew. On their way to Attanagalla, as the night approached, the group decided to spend that day at the village where the present temple stands. They placed the Bo sapling safely on slightly higher ground and spent the night. On the next day when the king and his crew were about to leave the place, they observed that the Bo sapling couldn't be moved from the ground where they placed it. Overjoyed by this incident, the king ordered his crew to stop there to perform the Bodhi tree rituals. From then on, the people used to identify this area by the name "Botale" which means "the plateau of Bo tree". Presently, the Bo tree at this temple has been protected as a monument by the Department of Archaeology.

A protected site
The old Bodhi tree and other ancient monuments situated in the premises of Gothabhaya Raja Maha Vihara in Bothale village in the Hapitigama Grama Niladari Division in the Divisional Secretariat Division of Mirigama are archaeological protected monuments, declared by a government gazette notification published on 1 July 1966.

Bothale Raja Maha Viharaya
1) The Gazette of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. No: 14702. 1 July 1966.

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This page was last updated on 14 October 2023

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