Diyakelinawala Kithsiri Mewan Rajamaha Viharaya is an ancient cave temple lying in Yatinuwara at the foot of a hill over which the path goes to Gannoruwa, on a flat piece of ground which is separated from a paddy field by a stream which just here breaks from its even flow into a miniature water-fall.
The temple therefore is perpetually within the sound of running water, hence the picturesque name of the place, “the hole where there is playing water”. The history of this temple is believed to go as far back to the king Kithsiri Mevan (303-311 CE) of Anuradhapura kingdom (Egodawita, 2011).
The temple is built underneath a natural cave shelter extended by a verandah with a wooden roof which rests on the rock. In the rock immediately above the line of roof, a gutter has been cut (Katarama) to keep the water dripping in to the temple. The cave has been separated out to four chambers.
The largest of the four chambers contains a recumbent figure of Buddha made of clay and 12 “carpenter’s cubits” in length. It has a double-arched (Suryawanka Design) stone doorway. The large stone columns on each side and the top is carved with a continuous creeper patterns. Two guardian deities (doratupala) figures are pained on the each side of the doorway. On the wall, both inside and out, are painted scenes from the Vessantara Jatakaya.
The next chamber is very small, and has a carved wooden-door with a single arch. It contains a sedent-Buddha about three feet high under a makara torana. The third chamber has three sedent Buddhas, 3 feet high, the central figure under a cobra canopy.
The fourth chamber has also three sedent Buddhas of about the same height as the last three, the centre one under a makara torana. The ceiling is painted in patchwork style, like that of a quilt. This chamber has a double.arched stone doorway plainer than that of the first chamber. The outer door of the Vihaie is wooden and triple-arched. Outside is a small dagoba.
The temple lies off Danture towards Sooriyagoda. From Danture junction, take the Dodamwala Road and travel 1.7 km along this road to reach a small bridge over a water stream. You will find a narrow concrete road just as you pass the bridge along the same stream to the left with a bill board directing you to the temple. Diyakelinawala Kithsiri Mewan Rajamaha Viharaya lies just 100 meters down this road.
- Lewis, J.P. (1921) “Kandyan Notes,” The Ceylon Antiquary Literary Register Volume VII 1921-1922, VII(Part II), p. 110.
- Egodawita, L.S. (2011) “යටිනුවර දියකෙළිනාවල විහාරයේ පිළිසකර කටයුතු අතරමඟ,” Dinamina, 26 May.
Map of Diyakelinawala Kithsiri Mewan Rajamaha Viharaya
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Travel Directions to Diyakelinawala Kithsiri Mewan Rajamaha Viharaya
|From Pilimathalawa to Diyakelinawala Kithsiri Mewan Rajamaha Viharaya|
|Via : Danture|
Distance : 4.5 km
Travel time : 10 mins
Time to Spend : about 30 minutes
Driving directions : see on Google Map