Kappagoda Raja Maha Viharaya

Kappagoda Raja Maha Viharaya (also known as Kappagoda Brahmawardana Paya Viharaya) is a Buddhist temple situated in Kappagoda village in Kegalle District, Sri Lanka.

Known by the name Brahmawardhana Paya in ancient times, the history of this temple can be dated back to the period of Kurunegala of the Dambadeniya Kingdom (Abeyawardana, 2002). It is believed to be an important religious place as the locality of this temple is mentioned in the "Nampotha", an ancient Sinhalese text that lists the principal Buddhist temples in Sri Lanka during the 15th century.  
The temple was destroyed during the reign of King Rajasinha I (1581-1593 A.D.) of Sitawaka (Abeyawardana, 2002). However, it was restored again by Moragammana Maha Disawa during the time of King Rajasinha II [(1635-1687 A.D.) Abeyawardana, 2002].
Kappagoda pillar inscription
This inscription is engraved on all four sides of a stone pillar found within the temple premises (Bell, 1904). The first side of it contains 20 lines of writing and the figures of the sun and moon are found over the record (Bell, 1904). The second, third, and fourth sides contain 22, 9 and 12 lines of writing respectively (Bell, 1904).

The inscription is dated in the 13th regnal year of King Vijayabahu VI (1509-1521 A.D.) of the Kotte Kingdom (Paranavitana, 1961). The inscription on the first, second and fourth sides of the pillar have been engraved first and the record on the third side is a confirmation of the first inscription by Vijayasinha Ekanayaka Perumalu who is identical with the Ekanayaka Mudali of the Rajavaliya (Bell, 1904; Paranavitana, 1961). Ekanayaka Mudali was the one who together with Kandure Bandara conspired to keep the three sons of Vijayabahu VI (Buwanekabahu, Mayadunne and Raigam Bandara) out of the succession (Bell, 1904; Paranavitana, 1961). This conspiracy led to the famous Vijayaba Kollaya in which the three sons of Vijayabahu VI mutinied against their father and divided the kingdom among themselves (Paranavitana, 1961).

This inscription names the present temple as Kappagoda Rajamaha Viharaya. Therefore, it is evident that at the time of this record, the Kappagoda Viharaya had cast off its ancient name Brahmawardhana Paya (Bell, 1904).
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.73-74.
2) Bell, H.C.P., 1904. Report on the Kegalle District of the Province of Sabaragamuwa. Archaeological Survey of Ceylon: XIX-1892. Government Press, Sri Lanka. pp.86-87. 
3) Paranavitana, S., 1961. The emperor of Ceylon at the time of the arrival of the Portuguese in 1505. University of Ceylon Review (Vol. XIX, No.1). p.19.

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This page was last updated on 30 October 2021
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