Navinna Tempita Viharaya

Navinna Tempita Viharaya, also known as Sri Wijayarama Raja Maha Viharaya (Sinhala: නාවින්න ටැම්පිට විහාරය), is a Buddhist temple situated in Navinna village in Kurunegala District, Sri Lanka.

The Tempita Viharaya in Navinna temple is believed to have been erected during the Kandyan Period.

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).

Navinna Tempita Viharaya
The Navinna Tempita Viharaya is built upon 24 short stone pillars and the ground floor has been converted into an enclosed space by constructing a short peripheral masonry wall linking some stone pillars around the ambulatory (De Silva & Chandrasekara, 2009; Silva & Chandrasekara, 2021).  There are 16 decorated wooden columns and the top of each is end with a Pekada depicting various carvings including human faces, elephants, birds, Bo leaves and lotus flowers (De Silva & Chandrasekara, 2009). The beam of the roof and the front entry doorway are also decorated with carvings. There is a seated Buddha statue in the sanctum with two standing Buddhas on the left and right. A decorated timber pillar is placed right under the seated Buddha statue to support the weight of the image (Silva & Chandrasekara, 2021).

A protected site
The Tempita Vihara, Bhikku dwellings and ancient parapets of Nawinna Purana Viharaya in the Grama Niladhari Division No. 135-Malwana, in Wariyapola Divisional Secretary’s Division are archaeological protected monuments, declared by a government Gazette notification published on 6 June 2008.

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.30.
2) Silva, K.D. and Chandrasekara, D.P., 2021. The Tämpiṭavihāras of Sri Lanka: Elevated Image-Houses in Buddhist Architecture. Anthem Press. pp.122-123.
3) The Gazette of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. No: 1553. 6 June 2008. p.531.
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 21 March 2023

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