Metiyagane Mayurawathi Rajamaha Viharaya – මැටියගනේ මයුරාවතී රජමහා විහාරය

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The image house built by king Rajasinghe II at Metiyagane Mayurawathi Rajamaha Viharaya

The image house built by king Rajasinghe II at Metiyagane Mayurawathi Rajamaha Viharaya
photo by : Milinda Huruggamuwa

Dambadeniya Metiyagane Mayurawathi Rajamaha Viharaya is an ancient cave temple on the Dambadeniya – Narammala road just 4 km from Dambadeniya. Based on the dating of inscriptions found at the temple, history of this temple goes at least back to the 1st century.

In the older times, this temple has been called Metiyagane Rajamaha Viharaya and later named after a queen named Mayurawathi who was the grand mother of Parakramabahu VI (1411-1463) of Kotte kingdom.

This temple has been renovated by various rulers since its inception and according to a copper plate presented by Parakramabahu VI (1411-1463) to the temple, he had renovated it 1429. Thereafter this temple has been renovated again in 1625 by king Rajasinghe II (1635 – 1687) of Kandyan Kingdom and had donated it to Gunadahe Dammadassi Thero along with the new upper temple (uda maluwa) through a silver plate.

The main image house of the temple lies inside a spacious rock cave about 300 feet above the temple. You will find a Samadhi statue, a reclining statue and a small stupa which has been renovated and painted several times recently. In 2017 it was reported that this small stupa has been dug by treasure hunters for the 8th time in the recent past in search of treasures hidden inside it.

In addition to this cave, there are number of caves with drip ledges used by the meditating monks in the ancient times  scattered over the hill which has not been explored or cleared.  The temple premises too is scattered with a large number of granite ruins belonging to the Anuradhapura era.

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Travel Directions to Metiyagane Mayurawathi Rajamaha Viharaya

Route from Colombo to Metiyagane Mayurawathi Rajamaha Viharaya

Through : Airport expressway – Giriulla – Dambadeniya
Distance : 79 km
Travel time : 2 hours
Time to spend : 30-45  mins
Driving directions : see on google map

Map of Metiyagane Mayurawathi Rajamaha Viharaya


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Posted in Heritage