This site is under maintenance Contact Us !

Godapitiya Jethavana Viharaya

Godapitiya Jethavanaramaya
Jethavanarama Raja Maha Viharaya (Sinhala: ගොඩපිටිය ජේතවන රජමහා විහාරය) is a Buddhist temple in Godapitiya village near Akuressa town in Matara District, Sri Lanka. It is located adjacent to Godapitiya Sudarshanarama Viharaya.

Although locals link the history of this temple to the reign of King Devanampiyatissa (247-207 B.C.), an inscribed stone mantle at the temple records that this temple was constructed around 1788 by the Buddhist monk Agalakada Sri Dhammarakkhita Thera who constructed the image house of the temple with the patronage of royals (Abeyawardana, 2004; Wikramaratne, 2015). King Sri Rajadhi Rajasinha (1781-1798 A.D.) of Kandy is said to have contributed to the development of this temple (Wikramaratne, 2015).

Built on the bank of the Nilwala Ganga River, the original temple had not been on elevated land (Abeyawardana, 2004). Agalakada Thera is said to have filled this area with earth giving the present name of the village Godapitiya which means "filling flatland" (Abeyawardana, 2004).

In 1806, this temple was involved in a festival known as Ganga Rohana for which a boat procession came upstream from Hitthetiya Viharaya in Matara (Abeyawardana, 2004). After the festival, the famous commemorative poem "Ganga Rohana Warnanawa" was written and it later gave rise to a controversy regarding the Sinhala language (Abeyawardana, 2004). Saram Mudali (Mudaliyar David De Saram), the main patron of this festival constructed a three-storeyed structure where the present monks' dwelling building stands (Abeyawardana, 2004; Wikramaratne, 2015). Although it was demolished later, the building housed the library and preaching hall of the temple (Abeyawardana, 2004).

Image house
Godapitiya Jethavana Viharaya
The old image house of Jathavana Viharaya is considered an important monument of archaeological value. It preserves a valuable collection of paintings belonging to the traditional Kandyan art tradition (Abeyawardana, 2004). Murals depicting Buddhist themes such as the Suvisi Vivaranaya (Buddha to be receiving the blessing from 24 previous Buddhas), nine planetary deities, twelve zodiac signs and Jataka tales including Sasa, Telapatta, Dhahamsonda are found (Abeyawardana, 2004; Wikramaratne, 2015). Inside the inner chamber of the image house is a statue of Buddha flanked on either side by the two chief disciples, Sariputta (left) and Moggallana (right). Of the valuable statues of the image house, the gold painted statue of the Buddha in a walking posture is notable (Abeyawardana, 2004; Wikramaratne, 2015).

Considering the value and importance, some of the casket paintings from Godapitiya Rajamaha Viharaya were depicted in the govenment postage stamps issued in 1984.

Godapitiya Jethavanaramaya Godapitiya Jethavanaramaya Godapitiya Jethavanaramaya
Do you know?

#) extends its gratitude to V. M. Vidanapathirana and Lalith Kekulthotuwage 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 Ruhuna: Major natural, cultural and historic sites. Colombo: The Central Bank of Sri Lanka. ISBN: 955-575-073-4. p.61.
2) Wikramaratne, I., 2015. Pauranika Sthana Saha Smaraka: Matara Distrikkaya (In Sinhala). Department of Archaeology (Sri Lanka). ISBN: 955-9159-54-2. p.21.

Explore Other Nearby Attractions
Location Map (Google)
This page was last updated on 26 November 2023

Post a Comment

Cookie Consent
We serve cookies on this site to analyze traffic, remember your preferences, and optimize your experience.
It seems there is something wrong with your internet connection. Please connect to the internet and start browsing again.
AdBlock Detected!
We have detected that you are using adblocking plugin in your browser.
The revenue we earn by the advertisements is used to manage this website, we request you to whitelist our website in your adblocking plugin.
Site is Blocked
Sorry! This site is not available in your country.