Sunday, 4 December 2022

Palkumbura Raja Maha Viharaya

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

The temple is believed to have been constructed by King Senarath (1604-1635 A.D.) of the Kandyan Kingdom (Abeyawardana, 2004). It was renovated during the reigns of King Narendrasinha [(1707-1739 A.D.) Abeyawardana, 2004]. King Sri Vikrama Rajasinha (1798-1815 A.D.) is said to have offered the temple to Kobbekaduwe Sri Nivasa Thera in 1804 (Abeyawardana, 2004).

Palkumbura Sannasa which deals with the history of this temple claims that the temple was established during the reign of King Senarath (Seneviratna, 1983).

Palkumbura Sannasa
Inscribed on a copper plate, the Palkumbura Sannasa is 9.2 inches long and 3.2 inches wide in its fragmentary condition (Codrington, 1933). On the left of the obverse of the plate are two double rectangular frames enclosing the sun and the moon while the reverse has a figure of a chank shell (Codrington, 1933). The history of the succession at Palkumbura Viharaya is recorded on this copper plate issued in 1804 by the last king of Kandy Sri Vikrama Rajasinha (Codrington, 1933).

The image house
The image house of Palkumbura Viharaya is notable as it bears Dravidian architectural elements (Abeyawardana, 2004; Seneviratna, 1983). It is a stone construction in the form of a Gedige (Abeyawardana, 2004). The superstructure of it is similar to the Gadaladeniya Viharaya and is accommodated within a large enclosure (Abeyawardana, 2004). The Digge has intricate wood carvings with brackets (Seneviratna, 1983).

A protected site
The Gedige-type image house of Palkumbura Raja Maha Viharaya situated in Palkumbura village in the Katugastota Divisional Secretary’s Division is an archaeological protected monument, declared by a government gazette notification published on 22 November 2002.

Palkumbura Raja Maha Viharaya
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) Abeyawardana, H.A.P., 2004. Heritage of Kandurata: Major natural, cultural and historic sites. Colombo: The Central Bank of Sri Lanka. p.104.
2) Codrington, H.W., 1933. (Edited and translated by Wickremasinghe, D.M.D.Z.; Codrington, H.W.) The Palkumbura Sannasa. Epigraphia Zeylanica: Being lithic and other inscriptions of Ceylon: Vol. III. Printed at the Department of Government Printing, Sri Lanka (Ceylon) for the Archeological Department. pp.240-247.
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.158.
4) The Gazette of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. No: 1264. 22 November 2002.

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This page was last updated on 27 May 2023


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