Agalakada Sri Dhammarakkhita Viharaya (Akuressa)

Agalakada Sri Dhammarakkhita Viharaya
Figure 1: The Stupa and the image house at Agalakada Viharaya

Agalakada Sri Dhammarakkhita Viharaya, also known as Agalakada Dhammarakkhitaramaya (Sinhala: අගලකඩ ශ්‍රී ධම්මරක්ඛිත විහාරය, අගලකඩ ධම්මරක්ඛිතාරාමය), is a Buddhist temple situated in the Akuressa area in Matara District, Sri Lanka.

Agalakada Viharaya
This temple was constructed by a Buddhist monk named Agalakada Sri Dhammarakkhita Thera during the reign of King Kirti Sri Rajasinghe [(1747-1782 A.D.) Abeyawardana, 2004; Wikramaratne, 2015]. This monk is said to be the first one from the Southern Province to obtain the Upasampada (the Higher Ordination) from the famous scholarly monk Welivita Sri Saranankara Thera (1698-1778 A.D.), the last Sangharaja of Sri Lanka (Abeyawardana, 2004). Saranankara Thera was the pioneer in the revival of Buddhism in the country, after the decline of the religion in the 17th and 18th centuries.

The temple
The Vihara-ge (image house), Stupa and Awasa-ge (monks dwelling) are identified as old monuments of this temple (Wikramaratne, 2015). The small image house preserves a collection of paintings and sculptures of the Kandyan Period (Abeyawardana, 2004; Wikramaratne, 2015). The group of short stone pillars which is found within the temple premises provides evidence of the existence of a Tempita Viharaya (temple on pillars) in ancient times (Abeyawardana, 2004; Wikramaratne, 2015).

Agalakada Sri Dhammarakkhita Viharaya
Figure 2: The interior of the image house of Agalakada Viharaya

#) extends its gratitude to Lalith Kekulthotuwage and V. M. Vidanapathirana for providing the necessary photographs required for this article. All the photos are published here with the permission of the authors.
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.84.
2) Wikramaratne, I., 2015. Pauranika Sthana Saha Smaraka: Matara Distrikkaya (In Sinhala). Department of Archaeology (Sri Lanka). ISBN: 955-9159-54-2. pp.35-36.

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This page was last updated on 18 November 2023

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