Friday, September 17, 2021

Karangoda Pothgul Viharaya

Pothgul Raja Maha Len Viharaya is a Buddhist temple situated in Karangoda village in Ratnapura District, Sri Lanka.

History
The local tradition holds the view that this is one of the temples built by King Valagamba [(103,89-77 B.C.) Abeyawardana, 2002]. Later King Kirti Sri Rajasinghe (1747-1782 A.D.) of the Kandyan Period renovated the temple (Abeyawardana, 2002). Two cave temples belonging to these two periods are found in the temple premises (Abeyawardana, 2002).

The temple is called "Potgul" which means the "library" or the "book store" (Abeyawardana, 2002). The Tripitaka and its commentaries (the Buddhist canon) penned at Matale Alu Viharaya in the 1st century B.C. is believed to have been re-recorded at this temple and distributed to other temples in the area.

The temple
There is a reclining Buddha statue in the shrine room. Carved out of living rock, the statue is about 40 ft. long (Abeyawardana, 2002). A Stupa, Bodhi Tree, an inscription and a pond named Darupokuna are also found within the temple premises. 

A protected site
Two cave temples with ancient sculptures situated in Karandeniya Pothgul Vihara premises in Elapatha Divisional Secretary’s Division are archaeological protected monuments, declared by a government notification published on 22 November 2002.

References
1) Abeyawardana, H.A.P., 2002. Heritage of Sabaragamuwa: Major natural, cultural and historic sites. Sabaragamuwa Development Bank and The Central Bank of Sri Lanka. ISBN: 955-575-077-7.  p.13.
2) The Gazette of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. No: 1264. 22 November 2002.

Location Map
This page was last updated on 18 September 2021
For a complete tourist map follow this link: Lankapradeepa Tourist Map

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