Mangalagama Bodhimalakarama Tampita Viharaya – මංගලගම බෝධිමාලකාරාම ටැම්පිට විහාරය

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Tampita Viharaya of Mangalagama Bodhimalakarama Rajamaha Viharaya

Tampita Viharaya of Mangalagama Bodhimalakarama Rajamaha Viharaya
Photo Source : sites.google.com/site/svmpirivena/

Mangalagama is an ancient village in Sri Lanka located in Rambukkana Division in the Kegale District. It is situated on the Colombo – Kandy road 85 km away from Colombo. Mangalagama is known for 2 landmarks, one is the historic Bodhimalakaramaya Tampita Viharaya and and the other is the Mangalagama Ambalama which lies right next to the road.

According to legend, an Indian Brahmin carrying a sapling of the Ananda Bodhi of  Jetawanarama in India on a pilgrimage and traveling to Kandy broke rest at the Ambalama on this village.  He had left the sapling on a nearby rock and slept at the Ambalama. Next day morning he was ready to move again and tried to lift the sapling but found it had taken root on the rock. Deciding that the sapling was destined to be planted at this location, he has stayed back at this village naturing the plant.

The Kandyan king hearing about this event had built an temple around the Bo Tree and granted him the village surrounding it. Since the name of this Brahmin was Mangala, the village became to known as Mangalagama.

Its said that Prince Ambulugalla of Kotte kingdom has extended support for this temple during the reign of the king Senarath of Kandy (1604 – 1635).  This temple has also served as a refuge for Buddhist priests during the religious persecution of king Rajasinghe I (581 – 1591?) of Sitawaka.

A unique feature of this temple that a visitor could observe at this temple  is the still exitant Tampita Vihara Ge. Tampita Vihara were a popular architectural feature of temples during the Kandyan era. The temple is built on top of granite stumps with wooden platform laid across the stumps.

The Tampita Viharaya has been completely rebuilt in the 1960’s. Out of the original structure, only the granite pillars, wooden platform and the door frame are from the original building.

The structure is built on 2 feet 10 inch high 10 granite pillars. The image house is 16 feet 10 inches long and 10 feet 10 inches wide. The usual circumambulating path seen in most of the Tampita Vihara is missing here. The original door frame with a Suryawanka design is 3 feet 4 inches wide and 6 feet high. The whole frame is painted with Pala Pethi designs. The inner walls too consists of paintings done in 1960 with no historical or artistic value.

Today this temple also serves as a pirivena, a seat of Buddhist education for young monks.

Primary Sources : [1] Heritage of Sabaragamuwa: major natural, cultural, and historic sites
by Dr H.A.P. Abhayavardhana
[2] Sri Lankawe Tampita Vihara
by Kusumsiri Wijewardhana
Mangalagama Bodhimalakarama Tampita Viharaya

Mangalagama Bodhimalakarama Tampita Viharaya
Photo by : Neranjan Darshanaa

Also See

Map of Mangalagama Bodhimalakarama Tampita Viharaya

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The map above also shows other places of interest within a approximately 20 km radius of the current site. Click on any of the markers and the info box to take you to information of these sites.

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Traveling to Mangalagama Bodhimalakarama Tampita Viharaya

Route from Mangalagama Junction to Bodhimalakarama Tampita Viharaya

Distance : 50 m
Travel time : 2  mins
Driving directions : see on google map

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