Udakotuwa Bodhi Sameepa Viharaya

Wanawasa Viharaya
Udakotuwa Bodhi Sameepa Viharaya, also known as Bheemathiththa Rajamaha Viharaya (Sinhala: බෙන්තොට උඩකොටුව බෝධි සමීප විහාරය, භීමතිත්ථ රජමහා විහාරය), is a Buddhist temple situated at the verge of Bentota Ganga River in Udakotuwa village near Bentota town in Galle District, Sri Lanka.

According to locals, the history of this temple runs back to the early Anuradhapura Period probably to the time of King Devanampiyatissa [(247-207 B.C.) Ranchagoda, 2015]. It is believed that this is one of the five temples that once belonged to the ancient monastery complex known as Bemtota Maha Viharaya (Ranchagoda, 2015). Although presently function as separate temples, the other four Viharas; Galapatha, Bodhimaluwa, Bem Vehera and Wanawasa which are situated in the vicinity of Udakotuwa Bodhi Sameepa Viharaya are said to have formed one major Buddhist monastery during the ancient period (Ranchagoda, 2015).

As happened to the many Buddhist temples in the southern coastal region, Udakotuwa Viharaya also fell victim to the wrath of the Portuguese who arrived in Sri Lanka in the early 16th century (Ranchagoda, 2015). The temple was re-established during the Buddhist revival that occurred in the region in the 18th century (Ranchagoda, 2015).

#) LankaPradeepa.com would like to thank Lalith Kekulthotuwage for providing the necessary photographs required for this article. All the photos are published here with the permission of the author.

1) Ranchagoda, T. O., 2015. Pauranika Sthana Ha Smaraka: Galla Distrikkaya (In Sinhala). Archaeological Department of Sri Lanka. ISBN:955-9159-53-4. pp.9-10.

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This page was last updated on 9 October 2023

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