Pusulpitiya Rajamaha Viharaya at Kothmale (කොත්මලේ පුසුල්පිටිය රජමහා විහාරය)

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Pusulpitiya is a village in Kotmale about 3 miles from Morape on the banks of the Kotmale Oya. This area is full of folk legends as this is the area where Prince Dutugemunu spent his childhood when Elara was ruling Anuradhapura.

According to legends a South Indian Brahmin heard about a golden ash pumpkin in the area called Nain Kelina Thota in the Kotmale area. He came to Sri Lanka and married a girl from the same area. After a while, they had a son. He sacrificed the son to take the golden ash pumpkin and while running with it, he kept the pumpkin on a rocky plain to rest. It is said that the rock cracked open and the the golden ash pumpkin fell in through this crack. Due to this, the area was known as Pusulpitiya, and the Pusulpitiya Rajamaha Viharaya was built on the ground where the Golden Treasure was sunk back to earth.

Kotmale Pusulpitiya Rajamaha Viharaya is historically linked with the Sacred Tooth Relic as it has found refuge here several times during times of political unrest. It is said that the relic was hidden here during the Maga’s rule (1215-1236) at Polonnaruwa. Vijayabahu III (1232-1236) took it back to Dambadeniya where he established the kingdom. The sacred Tooth Relic again found refuge here when the British entered the Kandyan Kingdom in 1815. But the British found it and took it back to the Kandy.

The temple also owns one of the four valuable Buddha statues which has been brought to Sri Lanka from India by Arahat Maliyadeva (The last maha arahat to live in Sri Lanka). The other 3 statues are said to be housed at Vattarama, Diddeniya, and Madanwala. This seated bronze statue under a Makara Thorana is a beautiful work of art. Apart from this statue, there is nothing of significant historic value in the temple.

According to Sinhala Bodhiwamsa, “Pusulpitiya in Kotmale” was one of the locations where Dethis Pala Bodhis were planted in the 3rd century BC by King Devampiyatissa.


  1. Lawrie, A.C. (1896) A Gazetteer of the Central Province of Ceylon (excluding Walapane) Volume II. Colombo, Sri Lanka: George J. A. Skeen.
  2. Abeyawardhana, H. A. P. (2004) Heritage of Kandurata: Major Natural, Cultural, and Historic Sites. Kandy: Kandurata Development Bank, in association with the Central Bank of Sri Lanka.
  3. Seneviratna, A., 1983. Kandy: an Illustrated Survey of Ancient Monuments With Historical, Archaeological and Literary Descriptions Including Maps of the City and Its Suburbs. Colombo: Central Cultural Fund, Ministry of Cultural Affairs.

Also See

  • Kandy – The Last Kingdom of Sinhale

Map of Kotmale Pusulpitiya Rajamaha Viharaya

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Traveling Directions to Kotmale Pusulpitiya Rajamaha Viharaya

Route from Colombo to Pusulpitiya Rajamaha Viharaya

Route from Kandy to Pusulpitiya Rajamaha Viharaya

Though : Kandy Road – Gampola
distance : 155 km
Travel time : 5 hours
Driving directions : see on google map
Though : Peradeniya – Gampola
distance : 53 km
Travel time : 1 hour
Driving directions : see on google map

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