Wattarama Rajamaha Viharaya – Siyambalanduwa – සියඹලාන්ඩුව වට්ටාරාම රජමහා විහාරය

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Monoliths which long ago held large buildings at Wattarama Rajamaha Viharaya
Monoliths which long ago held large buildings at Wattarama Rajamaha Viharaya
Image courtesy of Dr. Ashan Geeganage

Wattarama is an isolated rocky outcrop lying in the Siyambalanduwwwa Divisional Secretary’s Division. At the foot of this rocky hillock lies the ancient Wattarama Raja Maha Viharaya which is said to be built by King Kawanthissa (205–161 BC) who Ruled the Magama Kingdom. The hillock is scattered with ruins of a monastery which has flourished thousands of years ago. There are at least six caves with drip ledges indicating that these caves have been used by the meditating monks.

This area has been covered in thick jungle till 1992, when the current chief incumbent priest visited this site and cleared the area to build a adobe with the help of the villages.

The temple has consisted of a stupa, image house, a Bodhi ghara and residences for the monks. Only the stone columns are now remaining of these buildings. Many of the archeological remains are covered in shrub jungle. The Archeological items which has been found at various places are kept in the temple ground in a makeshift museum.

In April 2011 it was reported that the treasure hunters have caused extensive damage to the stupa at the top of the hillock and the ancient Buddha image. This stupa is seen as a mound of earth now.

The temple lies 62 km from Buttala and 18km off the Monaragala – Siyambalanduwa Road (A4).

From the Kodayana junction on the Monaragala – Siyambalanduwa route, you need to turn right to the road which leads to the Ethimale and Kotiyagala villages. From Ethimale you will come across a name board directing towards the Wattarama Forest Monastery. You need to walk about ½ kilometre on this route to reach the temple.

Also See

Map of Wattarama Rajamaha Viharaya – Siyambalanduwa

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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

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Travel Directions to Wattarama Rajamaha Viharaya – Siyambalanduwa

Route from Colombo to Wattarama Rajamaha Viharaya

Route from Monaragala – Siyambalanduwa Road (A4) to Wattarama Rajamaha Viharaya

Though : Horana – Ratnapura – Beragala – Wellawaya – Buttala – Monaragla
distance :290 km
Travel time : 1.45 hours.
Driving directions : see on google map
distance :18 km
Travel time : 30 minutes.
Driving directions : see on google map

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