Wednesday, September 8, 2021

Nadun Viharaya

Nadun Viharaya is a Buddhist temple situated in Kiriella village in Ratnapura District, Sri Lanka.

History
A red-robed monk named Maha Galgamuwa Ganinnanse is said to have established this temple (Abeyawardana, 2002). The Tempita Viharaya (temple on pillars) of this temple is was constructed under royal sponsorship in 1801 by a Buddhist monk named Karandana Devarakkhita Thera (Abeyawardana, 2002). As it was constructed using Nadun woods (Pericopsis mooniana), the temple then came to be known as Nadun Viharaya (Abeyawardana, 2002). 

Karandana Devarakkhita Thera was famous for his ola writings. King Sri Vikrama Rajasinghe (1798-1815 A.D.) is said to have admired him for translating the Pali Majjhima Nikaya into Sinhala (Abeyawardana, 2002). A grant note written on a small palm leaf umbrella reveals that a "Nindagama" (villages gifted to officers for royal services) of about 8,355 acres has been gifted to this temple by the Dumbara Maha Nilame (Abeyawardana, 2002). 

Tempita Viharaya
Tempita Viharas (the temples on pillars) were a popular aspect of many Buddhist temples during the Kandyan period. These structures were usually built on a wooden platform resting on bare stone pillars or stumps which are about 1-4 feet tall. The roof is generally made of timber and held by wooden stumps. The walls are usually made of wattle and daub and they form the main enclosed shrine room containing the Buddhist sculptures and murals belonging to the Kandyan style. Some Tempita Viharas have narrow verandas and ambulatories circulating the main enclosed space. Construction of these buildings were started in the 17th century and lasted until the end of the 19th century (Wijayawardhana, 2010).

Nadun Viharaya Tempita building
At Nadun Viharaya two Tempita buildings have been constructed horizontally abutting each other and the base pillars of them have been covered due to later renovations. The seated Buddha statue inside the shrine has unusual features (Abeyawardana, 2002). The paintings adorning the inner walls exhibit an art tradition influenced by both Kandyan and the Southern traditions.

A protected site
The ancient Buddhist shrine located in the premises of Nadun Vihara in Kiriella village in the Divisional Secretary Division of Kiriella is an archaeological protected monument, declared by a government gazette 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.  pp.20-21.
2) The Gazette of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. No: 1553. 22 November 2002.
3) Wijayawardhana, K., 2010. Sri Lankawe Tampita Vihara (In Sinhala). Dayawansa Jayakody & Company. Colombo. ISBN: 978-955-551-752-2. p.12.
 
Location Map
This page was last updated on 8 September 2021
For a complete tourist map follow this link: Lankapradeepa Tourist Map

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