Ilupandeniya Raja Maha Viharaya lies in the District of Kandy and its origins are believed to be going as far as the era of King Devamnampiyatissa (250-210 BC). History records that there was an Buddhist education center (Pirivena’) during the reign of Queen Kalyanawathi (1202-1208 AD) and again it appears in the records during the reign of King Wickramabahu III ( 1357-1374) when land was donated to the temple by the king.
The current Bodhi tree has been planted during the period of King Viraparakrama Narendrasinha (1707 – 1739). At the beginning this temple has been a constructed as a Tampita Vihara ( built on a platform above ground level). But during 1933 renovations the temple has lost the tampita vihara section and it has been rebuilt to give a look of a modern day temple. But the remains of the stone columns which constituted the base of the tampita vihara still can be seen in the temple premises.
Of the remains of the ancient temple, a carving of a dog and a crow on a stone slab takes an important place. This slab is used to inform the travelers to the temple that anybody who disrespect the holiness would be reborn as dogs and crows in the next life. Another stone slab shows a Gajasinghe (elephant – lion ) carving. Both these are believed to be from the the Kandyan Era.
Map of Ilupandeniya Rajamaha Viharaya
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Traveling Directions to Ilupandeniya Rajamaha Viharaya
Route from Kandy to Ilupandeniya Temple
|distance :16 km|
Travel time : 30-45 mins
Driving directions : see on google map