Kalotuwawa Tempita Viharaya

Kalotuwawa Tempita Viharaya (Sinhala: කලෝටුවාව ටැම්පිට විහාරය) is a Buddhist temple situated in Hataraliyedda in Kandy District, Sri Lanka.

The history of Kalotuwawa temple runs back to the reign of King Sri Vikrama Rajasingha (1798-1815 A.D.), the last king of Sri Lanka (Silva & Chandrasekara, 2021; Wijayawardhana, 2010). During this period, two village headmen named Kalotuwawe Gamarala and Godagale Gamarala constructed the Tempita Viharaya of this temple (Silva & Chandrasekara, 2021). The monks' dwelling is said to have been built in the 1840s (Wijayawardhana, 2010).

The name Kalotuwawa is seemed to have evolved from a small fortress called Kala-Kotuwa, which had been used for surveillance over the Colombo-Kandy road during the Kandyan Period (Silva & Chandrasekara, 2021). 

Tempita Viharaya
Tempita Viharas 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. The construction of these buildings was started in the 17th century and lasted until the end of the 19th century (Wijayawardhana, 2010).

Kalotuwawa Tempita Viharaya
The Tempita Viharaya of this temple can be identified as an ancient monument with archaeological value. It is a rectangular building (17 ft. 6 inches X 9 ft.) balanced on 13 stone stumps about 3 ft. high (Silva & Chandrasekara, 2021; Wijayawardhana, 2010). In addition to the stone stumps, a rubble wall has been built along the east-west direction to support the floor. An inscription written on the doorframe indicates that this temple was renovated in 1898 (Silva & Chandrasekara, 2021). 

The building has a narrow ambulatory around it but has no balustrades. The image house consists of two sections, viz: the inner sanctum and the vestibule. The walls of the vestibule have no paintings but the ceiling is decorated with figures of deities. The doorframe of the inner sanctum is 7 ft. in height and 2 ft. 10 in inches in width (Wijayawardhana, 2010). A seated Buddha statue in Samadi position (gesture of meditation) and two standing statues of Buddha are found in the inner sanctum. The walls of this room are filled with paintings depicting Buddhist themes including Sath Sathiya (the first seven weeks after the enlightenment), Suvisi Vivaranaya (Buddha to be receiving the blessing from 24 previous Buddhas).

A protected site
The ancient dwelling house and Tempita image house at the Kalotuwawa Vihara premises situated in No. 334 Kalotuwawa Grama Niladhari Division in the Hatharaliyadda Divisional Secretary’s Division are archaeological protected monuments, declared by a government Gazette notification published on 22 November 2002.

1) Silva, K.D. and Chandrasekara, D.P., 2021. The Tämpiṭavihāras of Sri Lanka: Elevated Image-Houses in Buddhist Architecture. Anthem Press. pp.78-79.
2) The Gazette of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. No: 1264. 22 November 2002.
3) Wijayawardhana, K., 2010. Sri Lankawe Tampita Vihara (In Sinhala). Dayawansa Jayakody & Company. Colombo. ISBN: 978-955-551-752-2. pp.12,87-94.
Location Map
This page was last updated on 2 July 2022

Post a Comment

Cookie Consent
We serve cookies on this site to analyze traffic, remember your preferences, and optimize your experience.
It seems there is something wrong with your internet connection. Please connect to the internet and start browsing again.
AdBlock Detected!
We have detected that you are using adblocking plugin in your browser.
The revenue we earn by the advertisements is used to manage this website, we request you to whitelist our website in your adblocking plugin.
Site is Blocked
Sorry! This site is not available in your country.