The Araththana Raja Maha Viharaya, lying on the outskirts of the Hanguranketha, the second capital of the Kandyan kingdom even with a palace of its own was an important religious institution where even the sacred tooth relic was hidden at times of disturbance.
‘Tudapata’ is a land grant written on an ola leaf and signed by a Adhikarama on the orders of the king. Araththana Raja Maha Vihara tudapata shows that king Wimaladharmasuriya I (1592 – 1604) , king Kirti Sri Rajasinhe (1747 – 1781) and the king Narendrasinha (1747 – 1781) had supported this temple.
This temple has also housed the sacred Tooth Relic of Buddha during the British invasion of the Kandyan Kingdom in 1803.
During the great Uva Wellassa Rebellion in 1818 against the British occupation of the country, Keppatipola Dissawe who lead the rebellion moved the Tooth Relic from Kandy again back to Hanguranketha for a brief period before the English discovered it. The relic was kept at the Araththana Rajamaha Viharaya even during this time and a display of the relic to the public had been organised.
The Vessantara Jataka, one of the most popular Jataka tales is seen in many a temple. The interpretation of the story is seen at the Araththana Raja maha Vihara in Hanguranketa. The artist’s work has been captured in detail in the Vesak stamps issued in 1982 depicting different episodes of King Vessantara’s life. The giving away of the white elephant which is said to have possessed the power of making rain, the trek of the king and queen to Vankagiri forest by foot carrying the two children after giving away the chariot, the son and daughter Krishana and Jaliya being given to the brahmin Jujaka who drags them away beating them, and the royal family being reunited and brought back to the city in the royal chariot were selected for the stamps.
Alternate names : “Arattana Rajamaha Viharaya” , “Aratthana Rajamaha Viharaya” , “Arathtana Rajamaha Viharaya”
Map of Hanguranketha Araththana Rajamaha Viharaya
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Travel Directions to Araththana Rajamaha Viharaya
Route from Kandy to Hanguranketha Araththana Rajamaha Viharaya
|Through : Ampitiya – Mailapitiya|
Distance :29 km
Travel time : 45 mins
Driving directions : see on google map