Elamaldeniya Raja Maha Viharaya – එලමල්දෙනිය රජමහා විහාරය

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 The large reclining Buddha image at the cave temple

The large reclining Buddha image at the cave temple

Elamaldeniya Raja Maha Viharaya lies about 18km away from the Morawaka town and 8 km away from the Pitabeddara Town. The Temple built during the 2nd century BC is on a rocky hill isolated from human habitation is attributed to King Saddhatissa ( 137-119 BC ) of the Anuradhapura Era. The temple has been built by King during the time he ruled the ancient Rohana kingdom during 161 to 137 BC as a prince.

Once you park at the vihara premises you can see the chethiya (stupa) far away on another mountain top. From here it is a climbing down to the foot of the mountain and then climbing the next hill. The steps are made out of granite and has been well laid.

To reach the bottom for the hill you need to climb down over 200 steps. At the bottom is a refreshing water stream. Walking across the stream, the climb begins. The ancient image house is about another 200 steps above this hill. The image house is a cave temple built on a natural rocky platform. A large reclining Buddha statue in this cave shows the Buddha in the state of parinibbana. All the statues in the cave has been covered by a large transparent glass.

One one side of the main image hall is a Devale for the Deitie”Rajjuru Bandara”. He is the most worshipped Deitie in this area. Most of the people who come to this temple from this area seems to be making the journey to visit the Devale rather than the image house.

On one side of the platform is a water drip coming from the rock itself. This is collected in a small tank. The image house in the cave has been recently renovated. But for the entrance the ancient granite door frames has been used.

Above the cave temple roof is a drip ledge to stop water coming in to the temple. But above this man main drip ledge is a larger natural ledge created by two huge boulders sitting on one another.

From the Devale there is another flight of steps going up to the stupa

Also See

Map of Elamaldeniya Raja Maha 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.

Zoom out the map to see more surrounding locations using the mouse scroll wheel or map controls.


Driving Directions to Elamaldeniya Raja Maha Viharaya

elamaldeniya map

Route from Colombo to Elamaldeniya Raja Maha Viharaya

Though : Southern Highway – Kurundugahahethekma exit – Elpitiya – Pitigala – Neluwa – Pitabeddara
distance : 180 km
Travel time :3.5  hours
Driving directions : see on google map

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