Vilayaya Tempita Viharaya (Matara)

Vilayaya Tempita Viharaya
Vilayaya Tempita Viharaya (Sinhala: විලයාය ටැම්පිට විහාරය) is a Buddhist temple situated in Dampahala village in Matara District, Sri Lanka.

The Tempita Viharaya of this temple is believed to have been constructed in the mid-18th century (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).

Vilayaya Tempita Viharaya
The square-shaped Tempita Viharaya of Vilayaya temple is approximately 6 ft. in length and wide and has been balanced on short stone pillars (Silva & Chandrasekara, 2021). The sanctum houses a seated Buddha statue made of sandalwood and it is surrounded by a narrow ambulatory margined by a short handrail (Silva & Chandrasekara, 2021). The inner walls of the sanctum contain paintings belonging to the 18th century while the exterior walls are decorated with murals done at a later period (Silva & Chandrasekara, 2021).

Vilayaya Tempita Viharaya Vilayaya Tempita Viharaya
A protected site
The Tempita image house in the Dampahala, Vilayaya Purana Raja Maha Viharaya premises situated in the Dampahala West Grama Niladhari Division in the Pasgoda Divisional Secretary’s Division is an archaeological protected monument, declared by a government Gazette notification published on 24 July 2009.

1) Silva, K.D. and Chandrasekara, D.P., 2021. The Tämpiṭavihāras of Sri Lanka: Elevated Image-Houses in Buddhist Architecture. Anthem Press. pp.158-159.
2) The Gazette of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. No: 1612. 24 July 2009. p.1022.
3) Wijayawardhana, K., 2010. Sri Lankawe Tampita Vihara (In Sinhala). Dayawansa Jayakody & Company. Colombo. ISBN: 978-955-551-752-2. p.12.

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This page was last updated on 18 November 2023

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