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 original statues have been moved to a new image house near the Bodhi tree.
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.
Ancient Tempita Shrine within the premises of Mangalagama Sri Vidya Mangala Piriven Vihara situated in the Grama niladhari Division Mangalagama in the Divisional Secretaries Division, Kegalle in Kegalle District was declared as a protected archaeological site in August 2014.
Photo by : Neranjan Darshanaa
- Heritage of Sabaragamuwa: major natural, cultural, and historic sitesby Dr H.A.P. Abhayavardhana
- Sri Lankawe Tampita Vihara – by Kusumsiri Wijewardhana
- කෑගලු කෝරළ පවත : පරණකුරු, කිණිගොඩ සහ ගල්බඩ කෝරළයන්හි ඓතිහාසික, සංස්කෘතික සහ පුරාවිද්යාත්මක ගවේෂණය – එම්. ඩී. එම්. එස්. යටවර
- Kariyawasam, A.V., (2014) “The Antiquities Ordinance (Chapter 188) ,” The Gazette of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, 1963, p. 15.
- Tampita Vihara of Sri Lanka Index
- Ancient Heritage Sites of Sri Lanka
- Other Places of Interest Within Close Proximity
Map of Mangalagama Bodhimalakarama Tampita Viharaya
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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