Beligala Sri Vijaya Sundararama Rajamaha Viharaya popularly known as Beligala Rajamaha Viharaya is a ancient temple lying between Alawwa and Nelundeniya in the Kegalle District. According to historical records, Beligala is one of the places that the first 32 shoots of the Sri Maha Bodhi (Dethispala Maha Bodhi) was planted which dates this temple to pre christian era.
When Kalinga Maga captured Polonnaruwa Kingdom in 1215, the Sacred tooth relic was moved to Kotmale. With Polonnaruwa under invadors, King Vijayabahu III (1232-1236) decided to move the capital to Dambadeniya and the king picked Beligala Rajamaha Viharaya to host the tooth relic and built a special building with roof covered in golden tiles. Nothing of this building remains today and according to a report published in 1883, the last rock pillars of this building had been carried off by the villagers to construction purposes.
Another important fact of this temple is the belief that the Pathra Dathu (the rice bowl) of Buddha is being enshrined in the stupa of the Buddha.
Today the temple is scattered with with ruins belonging to pre christian era to Damadeniya Era. A granite bodhigara around the Dethis bo tree, granite steps, balustrades and moonstones of the by gone era can be seen all around. But one unusual Moonstone stands out with a center protruding above the ground. The moonstone believed be a work of a stone craftsman who has escaped from the styles of Pollonnauwa to Dambadeniya according to the Prof Paranavithana. Quite different from the Polonnaruwa era moonstones, the finer details of the moonstone has disappeared with age.
This moonstone is now protected by iron fence and legend says that a treasure is hidden underneath it. In 2013, the head priest of the temple complained to the police that the chairman of the Ruwanwella Pradesheeya Saba Sudath Majula came to him and requested his help to dig the treasure beneath the moonstone.
Map of Kegalle Beligala Rajamaha Viharaya
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Travel Directions to Kegalle Beligala Rajamaha Viharaya
Route from Nelundeniya to Kegalle Beligala Rajamaha Viharaya
|Through : Nelundeniya Road|
Distance :5.8 km
Travel time : 10 minutes
Driving directions : see on google map