Minuwangamuwa Shailamasthakarama Purana Tampita Viharaya – මිනුවන්ගමුව ශෛලමස්තකාරාම පුරාණ ටැම්පිට විහාරය

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Minuwangamuwa Purana Tampita Viharaya (Gale Viharaya)

Minuwangamuwa Purana Tampita Viharaya (Gale Viharaya)
Photo By : Januka Chanshan Wijesiriwardene

Minuwangamuwa Shailamasthakarama Tampita Viharaya is an ancient temple hidden away in a remote area between  Sudugala and Hettimulla in the Kegalle District. To reach the temple you need to take the road towards  Aranayake from Mawanella and travel 4.5  km on the Aranayake road upto Sudugala Junction and further 12 km towards Hettimulla. Travelling from Kegalle, the temple lies about 1.7 km away through Hettimulla Gamsaba Junction.

This temple lies on the slope of a rocky mountain in Minuwangamuwa. There are 2 caves with drip ledges and it is said that at least 4 other such caves exists on the other forested slopes of the mountain. Although there are no ledge inscriptions, its is believed that these caves have been occupied by meditating monks since the pre christian era.

Today the oldest building you find in the temple is the Tampita Viharaya belonging to the Kandyan Era. Tampita Vihara were a popular architectural feature of temples during the Kandyan era. The temple is built on top of granite stumps with wooden platform laid across the stumps.

This Tampita Vihara Ge is built on 6 granite pillars of 3 feet 3 inches tall. These pillars are erected on a small platform built on the ground.The image house is 10 feet 6 inches long and 7 feet 9 inches wide.  A 2 feet 4 inch wide circumambulating path is built around the image house with a 5 feet 10 inch wide front porch which is protected by a half height wall. The whole structure is 18 feet 9 inches in length and 12 feet 6 inches wide.

This Tampita Viharaya has been built around 1886 according to two century old receipt which is with the chief prelate of the temple. According to the first document Tampita Viharaya has been handed over to an artist called  Polkatuwegedara Kiri Appu on the 1st May 1885 for the art work on the image house. The work was to be completed within 18 months with a Rs 10 fine for late completion. Based on the second receipt, the work has been completed and has been handed over to the chief prelate on 29th May 1886.  The artwork has not gone through any renovations there after and has remained in its original form since then.

The main entrance to the image house is built with a Suryawanka design. The door frame lacks any carvings but a white colour floral creeper is drawn on a blue background along the frame. Two guard deities (Doratupala) statues carrying a pot of plenty stand on the sides of the door.  Three seated Buddha statues are found inside the image house. The center statue is about 3 feet tall and the two statues beside it is about 2 feet in height. On the wall behind the two small statues are paintings of Sun and the moon. Images of Vishnu and Saman deities are drawn on the side walls. Walls are covered in various buddhist paintings including Suwisi Viwaranaya. The roof is painted with Nari Latha and floral designs. Unfortunately most of these paintings are fading with age.

Primary Source : Sri Lankawe Tampita Vihara
by Kusumsiri Wijewardhana

Also See

Map of Minuwangamuwa Shailamasthakarama Purana Tampita Viharaya

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Traveling Directions to Minuwangamuwa Shailamasthakarama Purana Tampita Viharaya

Route from Kegalle to Minuwangamuwa Purana Tampita Viharaya

Distance :7.2 km
Travel time : 20 mins
Driving directions : see on google map

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Posted in Heritage, Tampita Viharaya