Samudratheera Viharaya (Kamburugamuwa)

Surrounded by a coconut grove, Purana Samudratheera Maha Viharaya is a Buddhist temple situated in Kamburugamuwa village on a cliff by the sea.
Samudratheera Viharaya
Samudratheera Viharaya

Purana Samudratheera Maha Viharaya (Sinhala: පුරාණ සමුද්‍රතීර මහා විහාරය) is a Buddhist temple situated in Kamburugamuwa village on a cliff by the sea in Matara District, Sri Lanka. Surrounded by a coconut grove, the image house and Stupa of the temple stand atop the cliff's highest point while the monks' residence rests at a lower elevation.


As mentioned above the entrance door, the construction of the image house of Samudratheera temple was in 2297 B.E. [(1753 A.D.) Abeyawardana, 2004; Wikramaratne, 2015]. Since then, it has undergone several phases of repainting and reconstruction, erasing its original features in the process. The Buddhist monk Mirisse Dhammadinna is said to have heavily contributed to the development of the temple (Wikramaratne, 2015).

Image House

The murals and sculptures in the image house show typical characters of the Kandyan Period (Abeyawardana, 2004; Wikramaratne, 2015). The large recumbent Buddha statue in the inner shrine is accompanied by a statue of the meditating Buddha, a standing Buddha and a few statues of deities. Access to the image house is through a doorway decorated with traditional Makara Thorana (dragon arch). The ceiling is painted with a lotus design.

Samudratheera Viharaya
Murals and sculptures in the image house
Samudratheera Viharaya
The Stupa, Bodhi tree and monks' dwelling

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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.62-63.
2) Wikramaratne, I., 2015. Pauranika Sthana Saha Smaraka: Matara Distrikkaya (In Sinhala). Department of Archaeology (Sri Lanka). ISBN: 955-9159-54-2. pp.36-37.

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#) extends its gratitude to Lalith Kekulthotuwage for providing the necessary photographs required for this article.

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