Kotasara Piyangala Viharaya

Not to be confused with Ampara Piyangala Viharaya

Kotasara Piyangala Viharaya
Kotasara Piyangala Viharaya (Photo credit: U Edg3, Google Street View)

Kotasara Piyangala Viharaya (Sinhala: කොටසර පියංගල විහාරය) is a Buddhist temple situated in Bibile in Monaragala District, Sri Lanka. 

The history of Kotasara temple runs back to the 3rd century B.C. (Silva & Chandrasekara, 2021). Remains of the ruined building and structures belonging to the Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa periods are found scattered throughout the temple premises (Silva & Chandrasekara, 2021). Of them, the ruins of the Padhanaghara building are notable.

The Tempita Viharaya of the temple was constructed in the mid-eighteen century (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 started in the 17th century and lasted until the end of the 19th century (Wijayawardhana, 2010).

Kotasara Tempita Viharaya
The Tempita Viharays of Kotasara temple consists of several sections: the entry portico, the Mandapa, the upper-level ambulatory, the antechamber and the inner sanctum (Silva & Chandrasekara, 2021). Except for the entry portico, the other sections have been sheltered with a single hip roof (Silva & Chandrasekara, 2021). Also, all sections except the entry portico, have been enclosed with wattle and daub walls (Silva & Chandrasekara, 2021). The floors and roofs of the chambers and ambulatories are supported by wooden and stone columns. The front wall of the antechamber is decorated with a Makara Torana (dragon arch) while the other walls are adorned with murals of the Kandyan Sittara style unique to the Uva province (Silva & Chandrasekara, 2021).

A protected site
The Tempita Viharaya, Bhikku dwelling, the well, ancient Dagoba and building ruins belonging to Kotasara Piyangala Raja Maha Vihara premises in the Grama Niladhari Division No. 102-B-Mallahewa, in Bibile Divisional Secretary’s Division are archaeological protected monuments, declared by two government Gazette notification published on 6 June 2008 and 23 January 2009.

Kotasara Piyangala Viharaya
The Makara Thorana of the Tempita Viharaya (Photo credit: U Edg3, Google Street View)
1) Silva, K.D. and Chandrasekara, D.P., 2021. The Tämpiṭavihāras of Sri Lanka: Elevated Image-Houses in Buddhist Architecture. Anthem Press. pp.160-161.
2) The Gazette of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. No: 1553. 6 June 2008. p.529.
3) The Gazette of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. No: 1586. 23 January 2009. p.105.
4) Wijayawardhana, K., 2010. Sri Lankawe Tampita Vihara (In Sinhala). Dayawansa Jayakody & Company. Colombo. ISBN: 978-955-551-752-2. p.12.

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This page was last updated on 27 May 2023
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