Sunday, 27 November 2022

Naga Vimanaya (Kandy)

Naga Vimanaya
Naga Vimana Kande Viharaya, also known as Naga Vimanaya (Sinhala: නාග විමානය, නාගවිමාන කන්දේ විහාරය), is a small Buddhist temple situated near the Malwathu Maha Viharaya in Kandy District, Sri Lanka.

The temple is believed to have been founded in the early 17th century (De Silva & Chandrasekara, 2009; Seneviratna, 1983). The name of this temple is mentioned in Nampota, an ancient Sinhalese text which is considered to have been compiled after the 14th century A.D. King Kirti Sri Rajasinha (1747-1782 A.D.) is said to have maintained a garden at this site (Rajapakse, 2016). Later, the Bowl relic of the Buddha that had been enshrined in the Stupa of this site was moved to the Natha Devalaya at Kandy (Rajapakse, 2016).  

The famous Buddhist monk Welivita Sri Saranankara Thera (1698-1778 A.D.) is said to have lived in this temple for some time (De Silva & Chandrasekara, 2009; Rajapakse, 2016; Seneviratna, 1983).

The image house
The small image house of this temple is of archaeological importance. Built of brick covered by clay and lime mortar, it consists of two sections; the inner chamber and the outer pavilion (De Silva & Chandrasekara, 2009; Rajapakse, 2016). The paintings on the walls of the inner chambers are well-preserved and the murals in the outer pavilion have been conserved by the Central Cultural Fund (Rajapakse, 2016). The main Buddha statue in the Samadhi posture shows features of the Gampola and Kandyan Periods (Rajapakse, 2016). Murals depicting Jataka stories such as Vessantara adorn the walls of the shrine. The pitched roof of the building is covered with Kandyan Peti-ulu (flat clay tiles).
A protected site
The ancient image house belonging to Nagavimana Kande Vihara premises situated in Kandy city in the Malwatta Grama Niladhari Division in the Gangawata Koralaya Divisional Secretary’s Division is an archaeological protected monument, declared by a government gazette notification published on 21 October 2010.

Naga Vimanaya
1) would like to thank Vishwa Sri Jayasinghe for providing the necessary photographs required for this article. All the photos are published here with the permission of the author.
1) De Silva, N.; Chandrasekara, D.P., 2009. Heritage Buildings of Sri Lanka. Colombo: The National Trust Sri Lanka, ISBN: 978-955-0093-01-4.  p.50.
2) Rajapakse, S., 2016. Pauranika Sthana Ha Smaraka: Mahanuwara Distrikkaya (In Sinhala). Archaeological Department of Sri Lanka. ISBN:955-9159-34-8. pp.49-50.
3) 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. p.101.
4) The Gazette of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. No: 1677. 21 October 2010. p.1750.

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This page was last updated on 3 April 2023


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