Dodanthale Sri Seneviratnarama Purana Tampita Viharaya – දොඩන්තලේ ශ්‍රී සෙනවිරත්නාරාම පුරාණ ටැම්පිට විහාරය

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Sri Seneviratnarama Uposita Rajamaha Viharaya (also known as Dodanthale Tampita Viharaya) is an ancient temple with  a colourful history hidden away  in Dodanthale off Mawanella in Kegalle District.

The history of the temple goes back to the time of Molligoda Adhikaram of Kandyan Kingdom. Molligoda Adhikaram, a man with a dream of becoming the king,  had started to build a palace at this location with the intention of grabbing the Tooth Relic of Buddha from the Kandyan king and claiming  the throne.

He had designed a 3 storied building  complete with a moat. He had selected the location for hs palace which had  had natural protection from all sides. Hills on the north and south and water on the east and west.  The ground floor of this building was to be the audience hall for the new king and the second floor was to be the place where the royals would live. The third floor was to be the temple where the holy Tooth Relic would be placed. The 4 1/2 feet thick walls of this building is an indication that this was built strong enough to be a palace complex.

Unfortunately before the 3rd floor was built, the king got to know of Molligoda’s plans and he was immediately summoned before the king. Molligoda thinking quickly informed the king that he was was building temple and nothing else. The king informed him that he will be visiting the site next day.  Molligoda Adharam quickly got buddhist statues and some artists and converted his palace to take form of a temple. The king visited the site next day and saw a temple under construction and Molligoda’s life was spared.

The work on the temple had quickly completed thereafter. The three storied building has completed with two stories and was handed over to the priests 1832. The moat only half completed.

The paddy fields on the north of the temple is said to have been a reservoir at this time. Molligoda is said to have lived in the Keppatipola Walawwa on the far end of this lake since he was married to a sister of Monarawila Keppetipola Nilame.  It is said that Molligoda Nilame used to row a canoe over this reservoir to visit the temple. An ancient canoe has been recovered buried in the mud of the paddy  field and this currently lie in the preaching hall of the Tampita Viharaya.

The building is 50 feet long and 40 feet wide. 12 steps has been bruit to enter the hall. The ground floor of this tampita vihara ge is used as a preaching hall. Two wooden staircases has been  built to climb up and down to the second floor.  The roof is thatched with Koku Ulu type of tiles.

The image chamber on the upper floor is 17 feet 9 inches long and 16 feet 9 inches wide. A wide circumambulating path is built around the image house. The outer chamber of the building is decorated with various frescoes including a picture of king Rajasinghe and a drawing Pancha Nari Gataya. From here you will reach the inner Image House. There is a large Samadhi statue and two standing Buddha statues built beside it. All the statues have been carved out of wood and then plastered and painted.

On the walls you will find images of various deities, king Rajasinhe, Molligoda Adhikaram and Lewke Dissawe among the various frescoes.

Fortunately most of the frescoes are in original form and this temple is considered a ideal location to study 19th century paintings.

Primary Sources : රහසේ ඉදි වූ රජ වාසල දොඩන්තලේ රජමහ විහාරය
Sri Lankawe Tampita Vihara by Kusumsiri Wijayawardhana

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Map of Dodantale Sri Seneviratnarama Purana Tampita Viharaya

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Traveling to Dodantale Sri Seneviratnarama Purana Tampita Viharaya

Route from Mawanella to Dodantale Sri Seneviratnarama Purana Tampita Viharaya

Distance : 3  km
Travel time : 15  mins
Driving directions : see on google map