Ancient Ketapitiya Rajamaha Tampita Viharaya

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කැටපිටිය රජමහා විහාරය  පුරාණ ටැම්පිට විහාරය - Ketapitiya Rajamaha Viharaya Purana Tampita Viharaya
කැටපිටිය රජමහා විහාරය පුරාණ ටැම්පිට විහාරය – Ketapitiya Rajamaha Viharaya Purana Tampita Viharaya
Photo Credits : Gayantha Jayasinghe

The small town of Ketapitiya (Katapitiya) lies in between Pilimathalawa and Rambukkana, 6.5km from Pilimathalawa on the Danthure Road and 21km from Rambukkana. The temple lies at main junction of Ketapitiya in Menikdiwela.

The history of the temple is unknown but the unique two storied Tampita Viharaya indicates that this temple goes back at least to the Kandyan Era.


Tampita Vihara was a popular architectural feature during the Kandyan kingdom where the temple was built on a platform which was held on an array of pillars, mostly stone.

The Tampita Viharaya at Ketapitiya is built inside a two storied structure built with brick and mortar. Instead of rock pillars, it has arches made of bricks. Massive wooden beams has been laid across the structure and planks laid on it makes the upper floor.

A large circumambulating can be seen around the inner chamber of the Tampita Viharaya. The front is 3.89 meters long and the the two sides and the rear are 1.93 meters wide. The inner sanctum (image house) is 5.38 meters long and 3.68 meters wide. The whole structure is 11.20 meters long and 7.54 meters wide.

The ground floor of the building is used as a Bana Maduwa. The main entrance to the Tampita Viharaya at the top is through a massive wooden door frame built with the Sooriyawanka design. Fine floral carvings can be seen all around this frame. This door leads to the circumambulating path where you would find larger than life size standing Buddha statures built in a row along the inner wall.

Inside the inner chamber lies the main seated Buddha statue facing the door. A halo around the Buddha is drawn in typical flame style. A sun and a moon is drawn at the two ends. Pictures of Sariyuth and Mugalan theros are drawn below the sun and the moon. A smaller seated Buddha statue complete with the headdress which seems to be belonging the same period lies on the right side of the main statue. A number of larger than life standing Buddha statues are erected on the sidewalls.


Also See

Map of Ancient Ketapitiya Rajamaha Tampita Viharaya

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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 Ancient Ketapitiya Rajamaha Tampita Viharaya

From Pilimathalawa to Ancient Ketapitiya Rajamaha Tampita Viharaya
Though : Danture
Distance : 4.6 km
Travel time : 15 mins
Time to Spend : about 30  minutes
Driving directions : see on Google Map


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