Wednesday, 30 November 2022

Sellawali Raja Maha Viharaya

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

Sellawali Raja Maha Viharaya (Sinhala: සෙල්ලාවලී රජමහා විහාරය) is a Buddhist temple situated in Halloluwa village in Kandy District, Sri Lanka.

The temple, according to a copper plate grant, was constructed by a queen named Sandapati whose identity is not known (Seneviratna, 1983). The copper plate is a land grant made in 1597 by King Vimaladharmasuriya I [(1591-1604 A.D.) Seneviratna, 1983]. However, the temple belongs to an early period than that date and is said to have been constructed by Chandrawathi, the mother of King Vikramabahu III (1356-1374 A.D.) or the queen of King Sanasammata Vikramabahu [(1469-1511 A.D.) Abeyawardana, 2004; Seneviratna, 1983].

Some believe that the temple was built by Sellawali Devi, the niece of King Sri Vikrama Rajasinha (1798-1815 A.D.)'s brother-in-law, Kuttinayaka Deviyo (Lewis, 1922). Sellawali is the old name for the present-day Holloluwa where the temple stands today (Seneviratna, 1983). 

The image house
Of the two image houses at the temple, the small Vihara that has been made out of dressed stone is thought to have been constructed during the Gampola Period (Abeyawardana, 2004). It has a doorway measuring 1.28 m in length and 0.49 m in width (Abeyawardana, 2004). The murals inside it have features of the Kandyan Period (Abeyawardana, 2004).

1) Abeyawardana, H.A.P., 2004. Heritage of Kandurata: Major natural, cultural and historic sites. Colombo: The Central Bank of Sri Lanka. pp.99-100.
2) Lewis, J.P., 1922. Kandyan Notes. The Ceylon Antiquary and Literary Register. Vol: VII, Part: II. p.108-113.
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.161.

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This page was last updated on 30 November 2022


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