Elamaldeniya Raja Maha Viharaya (එලමල්දෙනිය රජමහා විහාරය)

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

Once you park at the vihara premises you can see the chethiya (stupa) far away on another mountaintop. 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 have 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. A large transparent glass has covered all the statues in the cave.

On 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 seem to be journeying to 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 made 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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Driving Directions to Elamaldeniya Raja Maha Viharaya

elamaldeniya map
Route from Colombo to Elamaldeniya Raja Maha Viharaya
Though : Southern Highway exit – Imaduwa – Akuressa – Pitabeddara
distance : 170 km
Travel time :3.5  hours
Driving directions : see on google map

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