Nandimithra Nawawangu Rajamaha Viharaya – නන්දිමිත්‍ර නවවංගු රජමහා විහාරය

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Nandimithra Rajamaha Viharaya (also called Nandimithra Nawa Wangu Rajamaha Viharaya) is an ancient temple situated in Pallama in Anamaduwa,  Chillaw. It is said that this temple was built by the Nandimithra, one of the ten worriers of King Dutu Gemunu (161-131 BC)   who ruled from Anuradhapura.  Out of the ten warriors Nandimithra is unique as he was the nephew of  Mitta who was a warrior in the army of Elara.

Although the temple seems to have been spread over a large area, now its restricted to small land. The stupa has turned in to a mound of earth. Construction of this  stupa is said to have started 1 day after Ruwanweliseya of Anuradhapura. It is said that the terrace of the stupa built in a shape of a  nonagon with nine edges. It is said that Nandimithra made this nine edges in memory of his 9 other generals of king Dutugemunu. Today this terrace is lost with only some remains of its foundation visible in few places.

Close to the this stupa is a collection of massive granite pillars which had held a building in the ancient times. Based on the pillar top, its said that this had been a two storied building.  On the ground you will also notice a granite slab according to folklore was dropped by  Nandimithra when he heard the death of king Dutugemunu.

Number of ancient artifacts has been found in and around this temple in the recent past.

in 2001, an ancient copper statue was found by a farmer at Pallama while he was digging a coconut pit in his land. The land was near the Pallama, Nandimithra Viharaya. The height of this statue is 165 cm (5 feet 5 inches) in height. The robe is closely wrapped around the body showing the bare left shoulder. This is a historically important find as this is the tallest statue found using hollow casting technology of ancient Sri Lanka.

This statue belongs to the 9th-11th centuries. Kataka Hasta Mudra is depicted on the right hand and the Vitharka Mudra on the left hand. This Buddha statue, which was broken into several pieces when found, has been reconstructed and is currently displayed at the entrance lobby in the Colombo National Museum.

In 2010, ruins of an ancient building were found during the ongoing excavations in the temple premises  to lay the foundation for a new building. The Chief Incumbent of the temple the Ven. Pothuthukkulame Deerananada Thera believes that the row of granite steps and the moonstone discovered beneath the temple grounds belong to the Anuradhapura period.

The moonstone was about 6ft long and the row of steps was 8ft wide. A granite vessel which had probably been used to grind medicinal herbs was among the artifacts found at the site.

In 2012, several agricultural implements and tools believed to be dating back to the Dutugemunu era were found under the bed of a parched tank in Pallama. This tank is too believed to be built by the warrior Nandimithra.

The items unearthed comprised a mammoty, several axes and iron nails. Villagers were digging the dried up tank for water as a result of the drought when they spotted the items.

Also See

Map of Nandimithra Nawawangu Rajamaha 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

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Travel Directions to Nandimithra Nawawangu Rajamaha Viharaya

Route from Colombo to Nandimithra Nawawangu Rajamaha Viharaya

Through : Airport Highway – Negombo – Chilaw
Distance :108
Travel time : 2.15 hours.
Driving directions : see on google map


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