Matale Kawatayamuna Rajamaha Viharaya (මාතලේ කවටයාමුණ රජමහා විහාරය)

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Kawatayamuna Rajamaha Vihara, located between Matale Dambulla main road and Matale Galewela road, about 10 kilometers away from Matale city, is a temple visited by buddhists and other faiths alike due its uniqueness. The temple has no historic value, but popular for the galley of various sculptures of hell and of other.

According to Rajavaliya, the 17th-century chronicle of Sri Lanka, King Gajabahu I (112-134 CE) went to country of Soli in India to rescue 12000 Sri Lankan prisoners taken to Soli country during king Vankanasika Tissa’s reign and returned with 12000 additional Soli prisoners. According to legend, part of them settled in Matale area. A one of the strong Soli prisoners named “Kawataya” had built an “Amuna” (a weir) in this area to obtain water for the fields thus the Kawataya Amuna had become Kawatayamuna over time.

The temple has been started in 1941 and the image house has been completed in 1946. Several of its sculptures can be seen even from the Galewela road even before entering the temple. They represent Kawataya, the warrior Neelamaya Youdhaya of king Dutugemunu’s army, childhood sculpture of Nandimithra.

The Balumge (gallery) of this vihara contains sculptures from scenes depicting women of evil conduct reborn as spirits and how persons such as Purna Kasyapa, Kahanta, Bhikkhu Kokilayi, the youth called Nanda, Chinchimanawikawa, King Supra-buddha and Devadatta Thero taken to hell etc.


  1. Abeyawardhana, H. A. P. (2004) Heritage of Kandurata: Major Natural, Cultural, and Historic Sites. Kandy: Kandurata Development Bank, in association with the Central Bank of Sri Lanka.

Also See

Map of Matale Kawatayamuna Rajamaha Viharaya

Please click on the button below to load the Dynamic Google Map (ගූගල් සිතියම් පහලින්)

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 Matale Kawatayamuna Rajamaha Viharaya

Route from Matale to Kawatayamuna Rajamaha Viharaya
Via : Palapathwela
Distance : 10 km
Travel time : 30 mins
Driving directions : see on google map


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