Maraluwawa Rajamaha Viharaya – කුරුනෑගල මරළුවාව රජමහා විහාරය

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Maraluwawa Raja Maha Viharaya

Maraluwawa Raja Maha Viharaya
flickr photo shared by Priyantha Bandara under a Creative Commons ( BY-NC-ND ) license

Maraluwawa Rajamaha Viharaya is an ancient temple complex lying on the top of Andagala Rock close to the Kurunegala town going as far as King Dutugemunu (161-131 BC). Like a eel, this rock stretches for over 15 kilometers in length giving it a shape of a eel to a person looking at it from ground or from above, giving its name “Andagala” (Eel-Rock).

The history of this temple is well documented in the Andagala Copper Plates which is held by the temple. These copper plates have been offered by the king Kirthi Sri Rajasinghe (1747 – 1781) of Kandyan kingdom to the temple. According to the copper plate, this temple has been renovated by the son of the sister of king Dutugenunu, prince Pussadeva. According to this copper plate the king has duplicated the content of a previous copper plate handed over to the temple by king Dutugemunu (161-131 BC) since the original had been decayed over time.

Based on the copper plate, the prince has come to a Levana Gal Viharaya to listen to preaching of the Arhath Mahadeva Thero and had built a statue at this temple. It is also told that there had been a stupa and the Buddha statue in lying position when the prince Pussadeva built this statue. Once the renovations were complete, the prince has invited king Dutugemunu to show the renovated temple. Based on this statement, its evident this site had been built before the time of King Dutugemunu.

The plates also states that the prince Pussadeva later became a monk under Mahadeva Thero and reached the level of a Arhath and that this temple was visited by Maliyadeva Thero who is considered the last Arhath of Sri Lanka.

On a rock surface near the stupa, a large  inscription can be seen. Unfortunately this massive 33×1 meter inscription  is so decayed nothing had been read. But to carve out such a large inscription, this temple must have had a very important place in the history.

An ancient bodhigara, ruins of a pohoya geya and number of dripledge caves can be seen on this site. In addition to the historic and archaeological importance, this site gives a spectacular view of the surrounding Etha Gala, Ibbagala, Dolukanda and the Kurunegala town itself.

Also See

Travel Directions to Maraluwawa Raja Maha Viharaya

Route from Kurunegala to  Maraluwawa Raja Maha Viharaya

Distance : 5 km
Travel time : 20 mins
Driving directions : see on google map

Map of Maraluwawa Raja Maha 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.

Zoom out the map to see more surrounding locations using the mouse scroll wheel or map controls.


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