Kotiyagala Wattegama Rajamaha Viharaya – වත්තේගම රජමහා විහාරය – කොටියාගල, සියඹලාණ්ඩුව
Kotiyagala Wattegama Rajamaha Viharaya is found by traveling 14.5 km from the Kodayana junction on the Moneragala-Siyambalanduwa road on the Kotiyagala road. It is located in the Wattegama Grama Niladhari Division of the Siyambalanduwa Divisional Secretariat in the Monaragala District.
Wattegama is a large rocky mountain. There is another small hill near the main mountain. This ancient temple is built in the middle of these two hills. Wattegama Rajamaha Viharaya as a whole dates back to the early days of Ruhuna kingdom. a large dagoba lies here in ruins. Many sacred foot stones which were worshiped by the Buddhists in the pre-Buddha era have been found in this temple premises. There is also an ancient Bodhi tree. The other valuable structure in the temple is the image house built during the Kandyan period. It’s infacr a a studio of Kandyan Art. However many of the paintings here are now faded or fading.-0-
In 1985, a Japanese archaeology team had investigated these ruins and published a report on the site in 1999. The main stupa which was covered in trees resembling a mound of earth is 27 meters in diameter and 8 meters in height. There were five chatra stones four sri pathula stones and many stone flower alters around the stupa. The most conspicuous chatra measures 115cm in diameter with a inner center hole of 17cm in diameter. There are 2 pillars which is believed to be the Yupa Gala, the pillar which held the Chathra stones.
The main image house lies next to the stupa and measures 8mx10m. Inner wall of the building is covered in murals. According the residing priest, these the murals inside the image house has been painted about 300 years ago. Among the paintings there are mural of Dutch soldiers carrying rifles.
In April 2011 it was reported that the treasure hunters have caused extensive damage to the stupa at the top of the hillock and the ancient Buddha image. This stupa is seen as a mound of earth now.
The rocky mountain in front of the Wattegama Temple on the opposite side of the road is called Batahela Kanda. There are few rock cut stairs to reach the top of the rock. At the top of the stairs marked as B, number of inscriptions have been found carved on the rock, marked D.
- Okamura, T., 1999. Ruins of the Ancient Ruhuna Civilization – In the Jungles of Kumbukkan Oya Basin SRI LANKA. Tokyo: Exploration Club of Hosei University.
Kotiyagala Wattegama Rajamaha Viharaya Map
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Kotiyagala Wattegama Rajamaha Viharaya Driving Directions
|From Monaragala to Kotiyagala Wattegama Rajamaha Viharaya|
|Total Distance : 30 km|
Time to Travel : 45-60 mins
Time to spend : 30-60 mins
Driving Directions : See Google Map here