Friday, 24 March 2023

Hiruwalpola Tempita Viharaya

Hiruwalpola Tempita Viharaya (Sinhala: හිරුවල්පොල ටැම්පිට විහාරය) is a Buddhist temple situated in Hiruvalpola village in Kurunegala District, Sri Lanka.

The Tempita Viharaya of this temple is believed to have been erected before the Kandyan Period and was renovated by a Buddhist monk named Tumbulla Thera in the mid-18th century (Silva & Chandrasekara, 2021). The temple was again renovated in 1900 by Udadeniya Piyadassi Thera (Silva & Chandrasekara, 2021). The paintings were preserved by the authorities in 1970.

Tempita Viharaya
Tempita Viharas were popular in 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 form the main enclosed shrine room containing Buddhist sculptures and murals in 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).

Hiruwalpola Tempita Viharaya
The Hiruwapola Tempita Viharaya is built upon several short stone pillars and the sanctum is surrounded by a narrow ambulatory. During the renovations done in 1900, the stone pillars were plastered and the balusters around the ambulatory were replaced with a parapet wall (Silva & Chandrasekara, 2021). The Mandapa was added to it during the same period. The interior and exterior walls of the sanctum are adorned with paintings of the Kandyan tradition.

1) Silva, K.D. and Chandrasekara, D.P., 2021. The Tämpiṭavihāras of Sri Lanka: Elevated Image-Houses in Buddhist Architecture. Anthem Press. pp.108-109.
2) Wijayawardhana, K., 2010. Sri Lankawe Tampita Vihara (In Sinhala). Dayawansa Jayakody & Company. Colombo. ISBN: 978-955-551-752-2. p.12,291-294.

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This page was last updated on 24 March 2023


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