Buddha Walawwa Rajamaha Viharaya in Nagadeepa

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Buddha Walawwa Rajamaha Viharaya in Nagadeepa - නාගදීපයේ බුද්ධ වලව්ව රජමහා විහාරය
Buddha Walawwa Rajamaha Viharaya in Nagadeepa – නාගදීපයේ බුද්ධ වලව්ව රජමහා විහාරය

Hidden under palmyrah trees of the Nagadeepa island lies the strangely named Buddha Walawwa Rajamaha Viharaya shadowed by the Nagadeepa Viharaya which was visited by the Buddha during his second visit to the country, five years after his enlightenment.

The this temple has been built on a land where an ancient stone carved buddha had been un-earthened. The land belonging to a tamil resident has been purchased by Buddhist monk named Dhammakittitissa Thera and the temple established. The statue is special as this is one of only few ancient statues discovered in Sri Lanka where Buddha is represented in the ‘Bhumisparsha Mudra‘. This is a popular mudra in the Mahayana Buddhism and not popular in Theravada Buddhism.

Bhumisparsha, also called “earth witness” is depicted with Buddha in seating position with his right hand as a pendant over the right knee with fingers towards the earth with the palm turned inwards. The left hand is is seen palm up on his lap.

Just before he realized enlightenment, it is said that Mara tried to distract him with his daughters and demons who tried to tempt him to get out of meditation under the Bodhi tree. Mara  challenged Siddhartha about the witness. Then the former prince reached out his right hand to touch the earth and the earth itself roared “I bear you the witness!”. Hearing the roar from the earth herself, Mara disappeared. This gesture represents the moment of the Buddha’s awakening as he claims the earth as the witness of his enlightenment.

Nagadeepa being at the center of Tamil Terrorist activity and the priests of the two temples being the only Sinhala Buddhist in the whole island, both temples survived the 30 year period mainly due to mutual respect the residents and the temple priests had developed over the years. The only archaeologically important artefact on this temple is only this statue. A stupa and some other statues has been installed at various places possibly after end of the terrorist war in the temple.

Also See

Map of Buddha Walawwa Rajamaha Viharaya in Nagadeepa

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Driving Directions to Buddha Walawwa Rajamaha Viharaya in Nagadeepa

From Colombo to Jaffna (route 1) From Colombo to Jaffna (route 2)
Through : Kurunegala – Dambulla – Anuradhapura – Vavuniya
Distance : 400 km
Time to travel   : 7-8 hours
Driving Directions : click here for Google Map
Through : Puttalam – Silawathura – Pooneryn 
Distance : 365 km
Time to travel   : 7-8 hours
Driving Directions : click here for Google Map 
Jaffna town to Buddha Walawwa Rajamaha Viharaya in Nagadeepa
Through : Kayts
Distance : 36 km (including the ferry ride)
Time to travel  : 2 .30 mins (including the ferry ride)
Driving Directions : click here for Google Map

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