Gerekmedilla Raja Maha Viharaya

Gerekmedilla Raja Maha Viharaya is a Buddhist temple situated in Arambepola. The temple was abandoned for many years and was rebuilt around 1812.
Gerekmedilla Viharaya

Gerekmedilla Raja Maha Viharaya (Sinhala: අරඹේපොල ගැරැක්මැඩිල්ල රජමහා විහාරය) is a Buddhist temple situated in Arambepola village near Alawathugoda town in Kandy District, Sri Lanka. It is one of the temples that belongs to the Malawathu Maha Vihara Chapter.


The name Gerekmedilla is thought to have evolved from breaking the word Garuka-Mandapa (the pavilion of honour) or Gara-Yakun-Netu-Pitiya (the dancing ground of Gara devils). According to Lawrie, this temple was abandoned for many years and was rebuilt around 1812 (Lawrie, 1896). A plot of land named Bomaluwewatta is said to have been dedicated to Atera Terunnanse of this temple by a king who lived at Kotte (Lawrie, 1896).

The Siri Pathula which is presently placed in the small shrine under the Bodhi tree was created in 2478 B.E. (1934 A.D.).

Image Houses

There are two image houses in the Gerekmedilla Viharaya. The oldest of them is constructed over the preaching hall and is balanced on wooden pillars. The sculptures and murals found inside it belong to the latter part of the 18th century. Folklore attributes the construction of this image house to an elite in the area named Jothiya Situ. Several restorations were done on the murals and sculptures in this image house by the Department of Archaeology in 2013.

The construction work of the other image house was started around 1907 and completed in 1912. The main seated Buddha statue which can be seen in the present image house was constructed after the vandalism of the original statue by treasure hunters. 


1) Lawrie, A.C., 1896. A Gazetteer of the Central Province of Ceylon (excluding Walapane) (Vol. 1). GJA Skeen, Government Printer, Ceylon. p.64.


#) extends its gratitude to Ven. Ankumbure Chandananda Thero for providing the necessary photographs required for this article. All the photos are published here with the permission of the author.

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This page was last updated on 11 February 2024

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