Hanguranketha Vishnu Devalaya

Hanguranketha Vishnu Devalaya
Hanguranketha Vishnu Devalaya & old Jackfruit tree (Photo credit: Anuradha Piyadasa, Google Street View)

Hanguranketha Vishnu Devalaya (Sinhala: හඟුරන්කෙත විෂ්ණු දේවාලය) is a Devalaya Shrine situated opposite the Potgul Viharaya in Hanguranketha in Nuwara Eliya District, Sri Lanka. It has been dedicated to the God Vishnu, one of the deities of the Sri Lankan Buddhist pantheon.

Although the establishment date of this edifice is not known, there is evidence to prove that this Devalaya existed during the reign of King Rajasingha II [(1635-1687 A.D.) Abeywardana, 2004; Wijesinghe, 2015]. It later received the patronage of several kings of the Kandyan Kingdom including Vimaladharmasuriya II (1687-1707 A.D.) and Kirti Sri Rajasingha [(1747-1782 A.D.) Abeywardana, 2004; Wijesinghe, 2015]. However, according to some sources, this shrine was erected during the reign of King Sri Vira Parakrama Narendrasinha [(1707-1739 A.D.) Seneviratna, 1983]

During the 1818 Uva–Wellassa uprising period, the shrine was used as a fort by the British troops to fight against the Sinhala forces (Abeywardana, 2004; Wijesinghe, 2015). The Devalaya had sustained damages during the encounter (Abeywardana, 2004).

Old Jackfruit Tree
An old archaeological-protected jackfruit tree is found close to the Devalaya building. The fruit of this tree is said to have been exclusively used for the consumption of royalty during the reign of King Rajasinha II (Abeywardana, 2004).

The shrine
The shrine consists of a long hall and a sanctum and on the basement are the figures of stick dancers right round (Seneviratna, 1983). The Moonstones, the Devaraja Petikada of the god and the long ceiling cloth (Viyana) are some of the valuables preserved in the shrine today (Seneviratna, 1983).

Alutnuwara Devata Bandara Devalaya
This shrine is situated behind the Vishnu Devalaya building. A pot-like sculpture containing five figures of females named Panchanari Ghata is found at the left side of the entrance of this shrine (Abeywardana, 2004).

A protected site
The Vishnu Devalaya, Aluthnuwara Devata Bandara Devalaya, image house, kitchen, rampart and the old jackfruit tree at Hanguranketha Vishnu Devalaya premises in the Divisional Secretary’s Division of Hanguranketha are archaeological protected monuments, declared by a government gazette notification published on 1 November 1996.

See also

1) Abeywardana, H.A.P., 2004. Heritage of Kandurata: Major natural, cultural and historic sites. Colombo: The Central Bank of Sri Lanka.  pp.248-249,250.
2) Seneviratna, A, 1983. Kandy: An Illustrated Survey of Ancient Monuments, with Historical, Archaeological, and Literary Descriptions Including Maps of the City and Its Suburbs. Central Cultural Fund. Ministry of Cultural Affairs. pp.141-142.
3) The Gazette of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, no: 948. 1 November 1996.
4) Wijesinghe, T.K., 2015. Pauranika Sthana Saha Smaraka: Nuwara Eliya Distrikkaya (In Sinhala). Department of Archaeology (Sri Lanka). ISBN: 955-9159-36-4. pp.35-36.

Location Map
This page was last updated on 7 November 2022

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