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Godapitiya Sudarshanarama Viharaya

Godapitiya Sudarshanaramaya
Sudarshanarama Purana Maha Viharaya (Sinhala: ගොඩපිටිය ශ්‍රී සුදර්ශනාරාම පුරාණ මහා විහාරය) is a Buddhist temple in Godapitiya village near Akuressa town in Matara District, Sri Lanka. It is located adjacent to Godapitiya Jethavanarama Viharaya.

Sudarshanarama Viharaya was originally a part of the nearby Jethavanarama Viharaya that was constructed around 1788 (Abeyawardana, 2004). However, following a dispute, this temple was separated from Jethavanarama Viharaya and established as a new temple under a different Buddhist sect (Abeyawardana, 2004). The image house, the Uposathagharaya (the chapter house) and the preaching hall of the temple have been constructed in the years 1840, 1879 and 1920 respectively (Abeyawardana, 2004).

Image house
Godapitiya Sudarshanarama Viharaya
The old image house of Sudarshanarama Viharaya is unique and considered an important monument of archaeological value. It preserves a collection of paintings belonging to the art tradition of the Kandyan Period

A large square-shaped pillar containing ten niches on its four sides is found in the centre of the image house building. The pillar rises upward and ends with a small Stupa built above the roof level. Buddha statues in meditating posture have been placed inside each niche and a high platform has been constructed around the pillar which presently serves as the flower altar (Abeyawardana, 2004). Four Stupas, a little smaller than the one on the roof are found on the four corners of this platform (Abeyawardana, 2004).

Entry to the image house is through the three entrances having altogether 12 doors and 8 windows (Abeyawardana, 2004). Traditional Kandyan murals depicting Buddhist themes such as the Suvisi Buddhas (24 previous Buddhas) and Jataka stories are found on the inner walls of the image house. The ceiling has been damaged but a few sections remain intact (Abeyawardana, 2004).

Godapitiya Sudarshanaramaya
#) extends its gratitude to 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. pp.61-62.

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This page was last updated on 25 September 2023

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