Malagammana Rajamaha Vihara is situated in the beautiful surroundings of Kulagammana Malagammana village in Kandy district. Malagammana Viharaya can be accessed when you turn left from Nugawela juncion on Kurunegala road in Kandy and walk 500 meters on Vidyala Mawatha.
The history of this temple speaks that it was built by King Buwanekabahu V (1372-1408 CE) of Gampola kingdom. Legend has it that when the King was visiting villages of Harispaththuwa, the Kapuwa of the Malagammana Pattini Devale had cured a serious illness of a one of his hindu queens and the king had built this temple by enshrining the the neckless of the queen. It is said that the name of the village was also derived of the temple with the neckless (Mala) enshrined.
Initially this temple has been built as a Tampita Viharaya as seen by the stone pillar stumps in the temple. This Tampita Viharaya has been burnt by the British in 1818. The current viharaya has been built by Nugawela Disawe in 1872. The massive main doorway built in the form of Suryawanka of the Viharaya is a wonderful work of art made of black stone.
The reclining Buddha statue, like the rest of the statues, displays the local art characteristics of the Kandy period. It is mentioned on the front wall that the British damaged this temple in 1818.
There are two image houses in the temple. There are many paintings on the ceiling and the walls along with the Buddha statue and a Vishnu statue inspired by the Kandy era art in the image house you fined as you enter from the main entrance.
Among these paintings, it has also been noted that there are paintings made by King Bhuvanekabahu V of the Gampola period. The portrait of King Keerthi Sri Rajasingha (1747 – 1781) is also painted here. In the temple behind the image house, there is a large reclining Buddha statue also belonging to Kandy era. It is mentioned here that all the art sculptures were created by the artisans Hingulwala Mulachari, Kulagammana Kajugahawatte Mulachari and Kirihami of Ambulpure. All these three artisans are residents of Harispattuwa.
The temple is also in the possession of the oldest Harispattuwa Rate Kodiya (Flag of the Harispattuwa). It is a rectangular horizontal flag of 147cm x 91cm, an old thick white aged cloth with a red floral border and depicting two stylized elephants in confronting position. The male elephant is a little larger than the female elephant, the background is filled with eight four petal flowers. The red colour was used on a white background.
The other specimen of the Harispattuwa flag found at Malagammana Rajamaha Vihara too is horizontal and rectangular, 147cm by 81cm. It comprises a finely woven white cloth with a liyawela border drawn along all four edges. The two confronting elephants were beautifully dressed and it appears to be a later production than the previously described Harispattuwa flag.
- De Silva, N. (2012) Flags : Flag Traditions of Sri Lanka. Colombo 08, Sri Lanka: Padmapani Designers & Publishers.
- Abeyawardhana, H. A. P. (2004) Heritage of Kandurata: Major Natural, Cultural, and Historic Sites. Kandy: Kandurata Development Bank, in association with the Central Bank of Sri Lanka.
- Seneviratna, A., 1983. Kandy: an Illustrated Survey of Ancient Monuments With Historical, Archaeological and Literary Descriptions Including Maps of the City and Its Suburbs. Colombo: Central Cultural Fund, Ministry of Cultural Affairs, p. 158.
- Tampita Vihara of Sri Lanka Index
- Ancient Heritage Sites of Sri Lanka
- Other Places of Interest Within Close Proximity
Map of Malagammana Rajamaha Viharaya
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Travel Directions to Malagammana Rajamaha Viharaya
|From Kandy to Malagammana Rajamaha Viharaya|
|Though : |
Distance : 10 km
Travel time : 20 mins
Time to Spend : about 30 minutes
Driving directions : see on Google Map