Makehelwala Keppetipola Sri Abayaraja Viharaya is built on the land of the Keppetipola Walawwa in Makehelwala.
Makehelwala was the birth place of Monarawila Keppetipola Nilame who was murdered by the British for providing leadership of the Sinhalese uprising during the rebellion in 1818. His brother Madduma Bandara Keppetipola too lived in Makehelwala but passed away in an early death after the death of Monarawila Keppetipola Nilame. Madduma Bandara Keppetipola was married to Tikiri Kumari, the sister of Molligoda Nilame. Since this couple had no children, Tikiri Kumari donated the Keppetipola Walawwa on 2nd October 1855 along with the land to the Sanga and built a Tampita Viharaya and converted the Walawwa in to a Sangawasa (monks residence).
Tampita Vihara were a popular architectural feature of temples during the Kandyan era. Tampita Vihara is built on a wooden platform assembled on granite pillars rising from the ground.
This temple has gone in to despair sometime after and in 1986 the Keppetipola Walawwa has been demolished and new Sangawasa has been built on this grounds losing one of the most important Walawwas in Sri Lankan history in the process. Just one door frame from the walawwa has been used in the new building. Most of the other buildings of the temple too are of recent origin and any antiquity has been buried of this temple except for the Tampita Viharaya which lies about 300 meters away in a rubber field.
This Tampita Viharaya is built on 21 granite pillars rising 7 feet from the ground. The image house is 20 feet 8 inches logng and 17 feet 10 inches wide. There is a 2 feet 6 inch wide circumambulating path going around the image house but the protective railing is missing. The roof seems to have been renovated and has been replaced with Calicut Tiles. Two clay lion figures decorate the entrance of the Viharaya.
This Tampita Viharaya has been renovated in 1961 and the murals in the Vihara Ge has been recreated during the renovations. A seated Buddha statue and flanked by statues of Sariyuth and Mugalan Maha Theros can be seen inside the image house. Due its distance from the other buildings, devotees rarely venture in this Tampita Viharaya and is again facing dilapidation due to neglect.
To reach the temple take the Rambukkama Road from Mawanella and travel for 5.5 km till you reach the Keppetipola Junction. The temple lies on the left at this junction.
by Kusumsiri Wijewardhana
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Map of Makehelwala Keppetipola Sri Abayaraja Tampita Viharaya
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Traveling Directions to Makehelwala Keppetipola Sri Abayaraja Tampita Viharaya
Route from Mawanella to Makehelwala Keppetipola Sri Abayaraja Tampita Viharaya
|Distance : 5.5 km
Travel time : 20 minutes
Driving directions : see on google map