Reflecting majesty and grandeur of Sri Lanka’s magnificent history and rich traditions, the Ran Avuda Mandapaya stands tall within the premises of the Sri Dalada Maligawa. The construction which was recently carried out by the Housing and Construction Ministry under the supervision of the Archeology Department and was handed over to the Sri Dalada Maligawa by Construction Engineering Services, Housing and Common Amenities Minister Wimal Weerawansa.
The newly restored ancient building dazzles with radiance and splendour. Its whitewashed walls and finely chiseled wood carvings invite visitors to take a closer look and the beauty of ancient artwork leave them awestruck.
The State Engineering Corporation has undertaken the task of giving life back to the building. Once complete the Ran Avuda Mandapaya will house the Media and Special Projects unit of the Sri Dalada Maligawa.
“This will be the second stage of the renovation process. Foreigners and locals will be able to skim through the temple’s annals and go through information on Buddhism at the complex. All the details will be at their fingertips. They will go through tedious tasks like hunting for information at various places because all the data about Buddhism practised in the country will be available. We hope to complete work in time for the 2600th Sri Sambuddhatva Jayanthi,” Sri Dalada Maligawa Media and Information Unit Head Krishantha Sanjeewa Hissella said.
He noted that modern technological equipment such as Wi-fi facilities will be available for visitors.
Constructed in 1592 by the King Wimaladharmsooriya I, the Ran Avuda Mandapaya was believed to be the place where the crowns and sword of the Kandyan kings were designed, moulded and bejeweled. It was one of the first features which has been adjoined to the Dalada Maligawa complex. It was later renovated by Kings Senerath, Rajasinghe II and Wimaladharmasooriya II.
The building was damaged due to foreign invasions and finally fell into hands of the British during their reign. They attached it to the Kandy District Courts complex after the Kandyan Convention was signed in 1815.
“The British changed the age old carvings and replaced them with their own architectural features. All but the traditional wood carvings were changed according to their tastes. Records relate that the British were the last party to renovate the building,” Hissella added.
In 1880, Colonial Governor Sir James Longden, turned destroyed the king’s stores and made it into the District Court.
“The former District Court houses International Buddhist Museum. The two-storey building encompasses details of 17 countries which have established Buddhism and have been propagating the religion across the globe. China, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, India and Afghanistan are some of the countries included in the list. The Museum has a rare collection of Buddhist artifacts, replicas of ancient murals and scrolls. Visitors will be able to get details of some of the religious practices engaged by the Buddhists when they visit the place,” Hissella explained, adding that the project which was estimated to cost about 2.4 billion was funded by the featured countries.
The Sri Dalada Maligawa is the abode of the Buddha’s sacred Tooth Relic. It is the highest symbol of royalty. Throughout the years many kings who have invaded the land have tried to take possession of the Tooth Relic because it empowers the kings to rule over the people and land.
The Ran Avuda Mandapa was one old building in the Dalada Maligawa premises which had been neglected for years till recently.
Pictures by Gamini Ramanayake
- Kandy – The Last Kingdom of Sinhale
- Ancient Heritage Sites of Sri Lanka
- Other Places of Interest Within Close Proximity
Map of Ran Avuda Mandapaya
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Traveling Directions to Ran Avuda Mandapaya
Route from Colombo to Kandy
Route From Nuwara Eliya to Kandy
|Though : kadawata - Warakapola - Ambepussa - Mawanella Distance :120 km Travel time : 3.5 hours Driving directions : see on google map||Though : Hawaeliya - Ramboda - Pussellawa - Gampola Distance :73 km Travel time : 2.0 hours Driving directions : see on google map|
Route From Galle to Kandy
|Though : Southern Highway - Panadura - Avissawella - Kegalle - Kandy Distance :230 km Travel time : 5 hours Driving directions : see on google map|