Wakirigala Abeysundararama Tampita Rajamaha Viharaya – වාකිරිගල අභයසුන්දරාරාම ටැම්පිට රජමහා විහාරය

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Wakirigala Abeysundararama Tampita Rajamaha Viharaya

Wakirigala Abeysundararama Tampita Viharaya
Photo by : Kadigamuwe Wimala Himi

The history of the Wakirigala Abeysundararama Tampita Rajamaha Viharaya (aka Wakirigala Rajamaha Viharaya – Wakirigala Tampita Viharaya) goes back to the time of Polonnaruwa kingdom. According to historical records, after an unsuccessful attempt to liberate Polonnaruwa from “Chola” Invaders on 1066 or about,  prince Vijayabahu was compelled to fortify himself at Vatagiri (Wakirigala in Kegalle District) for some time to regroup the armies. This viharaya gained prominence during the time of king Vijayabahu I (1070-1110) as a defence post after he finally managed to defeat the Chola invaders in Polonnaruwa and unifying the country.

The Wakirigala Viharaya again came in to prominence in the 13th century as the temple where Ven. Buddhaputhra Thero, the author of Pujavaliya resided. Since he was also the author of several books on Ayurveda, this viharaya was also known for its contribution to the development of Ayurvedic literature.

It is said that this temple was destroyed by the Portuguese during their religious crusades. It is believed that The closeby Wakirigala Ambalama has been built using remnants from other ancient temples, specially the ruins of ancient Wakirigala Rajamaha Viharaya. The ambalama has 2 entrances, one on the north and one on the east. The Northern Entrance of the ambalama is made out of a large granite door frame which is believed to be part of the ancient Wakirigala temple.

This temple has been called called as “Vatagiri Pabbata”, “Niyangampaya” and  “Mayura Padapaya” during ancient times.   The viharaya has received patronage from several kings during the Kandyan Kingdom. The Tampita Viharaya in the temple is 12 feet long and 10 feet wide. The flat clay tiles are used for the roof. Inside the temple there is a 3 feet high Buddha statue in samadhi posture and several standing of Buddhist statues. The walls are richly decorated with paintings of Sittara tradition of Kandy period. At the top of the Wakirigala Rock ruins of ancient buildings believed to be belonging to Pollonnaruwa era can be found.

To reach the temple take the Aranayake road from Mawanella and travel 4.5 km upto Ussapitiya and take the Hettimulla road. Travel 150 meters on this road and take the narrow concrete road towards Asmadala and travel 5.5 km to reach this remote temple.

A sketch of the Wakirigala Tampita Viharaya

A sketch of the Wakirigala Tampita Viharaya

Primary Source : Heritage of Sabaragamuwa: major natural, cultural, and historic sites
Dr H.A.P. Abhayavardhana

Also See

Map of Wakirigala Abeysundararama Tampita Rajamaha 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 Wakirigala Abeysundararama Tampita Rajamaha Viharaya

Route from Ruwanwella to Wakirigala Abeysundararama Tampita Rajamaha Viharaya

Distance : 10.5   km
Travel time : 30-40 mins
Driving directions : see on google map

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Posted in Heritage, Tampita Viharaya