Kempitikanda Sri Bodhirukkaramaya which is also known as Kempitikanda Tampita Viharaya is an ancient temple complex believed to be at least 1700 years old in the Rambukkana Divisional Secretariat. To reach the temple you need to take the Rambukkana Road from Mawanella town and travel 9.5 kms to reach the Kempitikanda road which lies just before the Paththampitiya Junction. Another 2.5 km on the winding road of Kempitikanda road through picturesque forest patches, paddy fields and rubber plantations will bring you to this temple which lies on a gentler slope of a rocky mountain. Another 1.5 kms down this road will bring you to another ancient cave temple, Budugallena Rajamaha Viharaya beneath the same massive rocky mountain.
Recent surveys had discovered about 21 caves in the rocky mountains which have been used by meditation monks at various times in the ancient past.
The Bodhi tree of this temple is believed to be over 500 years old and its said that the villagers who were farmers had used this tree as a place of worship as well as carry out ‘kem’ to protect their crops. The name Kempitakanda was tied to this area and and when a temple was developed during the Kandyan Era it was named Bodhirukkaramaya due the ancient Bodhi tree.
One of the unique features a visitor could observe today is the Tampita Vihara Ge in the temple. Tampita Vihara were a popular architectural feature of temples during the Kandyan era. The temple is built on top of granite stumps with wooden platform laid across the stumps.
The Tampita Viharaya is built on 8 granite stumps rising 2 feet 8 inches above ground level. The image house is 9 feet long and 6 feet 6 inches wide. A 2 feet 3 inch wide circumambulating path is built around the image house with a 3 feet high wooden balustrade. The complete structure is 20 feet long and 14 feet wide.
Two guard deities carrying swards can be seen beside the main entrances. Statues inside the image house belong to the Kandyan era. The paintings on the walls have lost its original form during later renovations. Only the roof carries original paintings. A painting of Maha Brakma can be seen on the roof.
Due to the lack of the attention of the Archaeology Department, the current head priest has repaired to roof to protect the statues inside and had replaced the ancient flat clay tiles on the roof with with calicut tiles.
by Kusumsiri Wijewardhana
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Map of Kempitikanda Sri Bodhirukkarama Purana Tampita Viharaya
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Traveling Directions to Kempitikanda Sri Bodhirukkarama Purana Tampita Viharaya
Route from Mawanella to Kempitikanda Sri Bodhirukkarama Purana Tampita Viharaya
|distance :11 km|
Travel time : 30 mins
Driving directions : see on google map