Sri Manabarana Rajamaha Viharaya at Siyambalanduwa – සියඹලාන්ඩුව ශ්රී මානාභරණ රජමහා විහාරය
Three kilometers away from the Monaragala- Siyambalanduwa Road lies the ancient temple of Sri Mahabarana Rajamaha Viharaya (Sri Mahabharana Rajamaha Viharaya). This temple is believed to have been built by the regional king Manabharana of Rohana Kingdom in the 12th century. Like many ancient temples in the area, this temple had been a highly dilapidated stupa which had almost turned in to a mound of bricks. But luckily, a Sri Lankan donor living in Italy has come to its rescue and excavation and the conservation of the stupa has been started in 2012.
The base of the stupa (Stupa Maluwa) has been better preserved beneath the current soil surface which has been cleared now. During excavations, the archaeology team found that the 2nd relic chamber at the top has been wiped clean by treasure hunters long ago. But the 1st relic chamber which was found beneath the 2nd has escaped the tools of the treasure hunters and found in tact.
A traditional Maha Meru Rock was found inside the 1st relic chamber in addition to a small Buddha statue in Samadhi posture. But the most prominent finding was a finely carved statue of Tara Devi made out of marble. This statue has been dated to 8th or 9th century. Tara devi is popular figure in the Mahayana Buddhism but not in the Theravada Buddhism and this is said to be the first time a Tara Devi statue has been recovered from a relic chamber of a stupa.
Further excavations on this relic chamber has presented with a bronze relic casket and another glass casket on top of the Maha Meru , bronze lamp, and an another marble Samadhi Buddha statue belonging to the 8th century.
In addition to this stupa, the temple ground is scattered with granite ruins of an ancient era but lacks carvings commonly seen.
Travel Directions to Sri Manabarana Rajamaha Viharaya
Route from Siyambalanduwa Junction to Sri Manabarana Rajamaha Viharaya
Distance : 4.5 km
Travel time : 20 minutes
Driving directions : see on google map
Map of Sri Manabarana Rajamaha Viharaya
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