Levangama Tempita Viharaya

Levangama Tempita Viharaya, also known as Sri Sadanandarama Purana Viharaya (Sinhala: ලෙවන්ගම ටැම්පිට විහාරය), is a Buddhist temple situated in Levangama village in Kegalle District, Sri Lanka.

Levangama the village where the temple stands was a Gabadagama (a village that supplied for the needs of the royal court) under the rule of Kotte Kings (Bell, 1904). The Tempita Viharaya in this village is believed to have been constructed in 1667 under the sponsorship of Eheliyagoda Disawa and it was renovated in 1830 under the patronage of Mapitigama Adigar (Silva & Chandrasekara, 2021).

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).

Levangama Tempita Viharaya
The Levangama Tempita Viharaya is 17 ft. 7 in. in width and 23 ft. in length and has been balanced on 20 short stone pillars (Bell, 1904). The ambulatory of the shrine is as wide as its sanctum and a Mandapa has been attached perpendicular to it later (Silva & Chandrasekara, 2021). The sanctum has two entrances indicating features of the image houses of earlier periods. The exterior walls of the sanctum are adorned with paintings depicting Jataka tales such as Vessantara, Dharmapala, Dhahamsonda and Maha Kannaka (Bell, 1904). There is a seated Buddha statue (4 ft. by 3 f. 4 in.) in the sanctum with a standing Buddha to the left and right in line (Bell, 1904). Against the left wall a figure of Vishnu and a model of the first Eheliyagoda Disawa in an ordinary Kandyan dress (Bell, 1904). Opposite it, a figure of Saman is found.

A protected site
The Tempita image house on Sri Sadanandarama Purana Viharaya premises situated in Lewangama village in the Ruwanwella Divisional Secretary’s Division is an archaeological protected monument, declared by a government Gazette notification published on 8 July 2005.

1) Bell, H.C.P., 1904. Report on the Kegalle District of the Province of Sabaragamuwa. Archaeological Survey of Ceylon: XIX-1892. Government Press, Sri Lanka. pp.57-58.
2) Silva, K.D. and Chandrasekara, D.P., 2021. The Tämpiṭavihāras of Sri Lanka: Elevated Image-Houses in Buddhist Architecture. Anthem Press. pp.134-135.
3) The Gazette of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. No: 1401. 8 July 2005.
4) 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 20 March 2023

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