Keragala Padmavathi Rajamaha Viharaya & Tampita Vihara Ruins – කෑරගල පද්මාවතී රජමහා විහාරය හා ටැම්පිට විහාර නටබුණ්

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The old Dharma Shalawa of Keragala Padmavathi Rajamaha Viharaya

The old Dharma Shalawa of Keragala Padmavathi Rajamaha Viharaya
photo by : Kasun Sanjeewa

Keragala Padmavathi Rajamaha Viharaya Pirivena was one of the most popular seat of learning of the ancient Kotte Kingdom.  Establishment of the temple is attributed to king Vijayabahu IV (1270-1272) of Dambadeniya kingdom and  the temple has been further developed in to a Pirivena during the the reign of king Parakramabahu (1415- 1468) for queen Padmavathi of Keragala to worship. Padmavathi is the sister of   King Buvenakbahu’s Prime Minister Nissanka Alagakkonara. She is mentioned in Keragala inscription and in the Hansa Sandesya. According to books on literature, Alagakkonara is very often referred to as Alakeshwara. They are supposed to belong to a ‘Giri-Vamsa.’ and their ancestral land is given as Raigama in Kalutara.

Two rock inscriptions has been found at this temple, one belonging to the Dambadeniya era and the other to Kotte era. The Tampita Viharaya of the temple has been built during the Dambadeniya kingdom and been donated to a  Wattala Nagasena Dammananada thero.  Eight pillars with a height of eight feet are the only remains of this tampita viharaya today. More broken pillars indicate that there would have been more than 8 pillars holding this Tampita Viharaya. The rock pillars are dodecagon in shape (12 sides) and are of 2 types. They are pillars with carvings and crownless pillars  with minimum or no carvings (numbering 5). Rare carvings such as Lanu Getaya. Digati Lanu Gataya with swans and four petal flowers with lotus flower carvings can be seen on these pillars.

This temple has been abandoned during the colonial era. It is said that the Portuguese has burned down this temple along with the Kelaniya Rajamaha Viharaya during the 16th century.  According to folklore, some of the Buddha Statues has been moved to Buthpitiya Walagamaba Rajamaha Viharaya before the impending attack by the Portuguese but lot of other valuables have been buried in a well closeby. This temple has been abandoned after this during the colonial era.

The temple was re discovered in the early 19th century and the granite preaching hall you see today was built around 1819. Later other buildings including the stupa has been been gradually added to the temple. In 1981 this temple again became a Pirivena and became a Maha Pirivena in 1997.

Today there are over 600 students learning at this Pirivena.

Alternate Names : Keragala Padmawathi Rajamaha Viharaya, Keragala Patmavathi Rajamaha Viharaya, Keragala Pathmavathi Rajamaha Viharaya, Keragala Patmawathi Rajamaha Viharaya, Keragala Pathmawathi Rajamaha Viharaya, Keragala Padmawathi Pirivena, Keragala Padmavathi Pirivena

Also See

Map of Keragala Padmavathi Rajamaha Viharaya

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Traveling directions to Keragala Padmavathi Rajamaha Viharaya

Travel directions from Anuradhapura to Keragala Padmavathi Rajamaha Viharaya

Distance : 34 km
Travel time : 1.5 hour
Time to spend : 20 – 30 mins
Driving directions : see on google map

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Posted in Heritage, Tampita Viharaya