Nedun Rajamaha Viharaya in Kiriella – කිරිඇල්ලේ නැදුන් රජමහා විහාරය

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Nedun Raja Maha Viharaya at Kiriella
Nedun Raja Maha Viharaya at Kiriella
Photo by Senanayake Bandara

The History of Nedun Raja Maha Viharaya (Nadun Raja Maha Viharaya) go back to the era of King Rajasinghe I of Sitawaka Kingdom (1581 – 1591).

Forklore states that the Sitawaka Rajasinghe killed his father Mayadunne  and sought refuge of his sin from the Buddhist priests who were unable to help him with the solace he needed clear his conscious. Then a Hindu priest promised to carry out a special puja to cleanse the sin of murdering the father.  This event not only converted Rajasinghe I to Hinduism but made him a fierce opponent of Buddhism.

It is said that King Rajasinghe I had murdered thousands of people who refused to follow Hinduism and the King’s supporters plundered and abolished many Buddhist shrines of the country.

During this time Nadun Maha Viharaya too fell in to neglect with the most priests going in to hiding.

But during the era of King Sri Wickrama Rajasinghe (1798 – 1815)  Rev. Karandana Devarakkhitha Thero who lived here has written the Thripitaka manuscript called “Medun Sangiya” and presented it to the king who in tern has presented a village called  “Dumbaragama” a 8305 acre  land to this temple.  This presentation has been done in year 1801.

With this donation, the Devarakkhitha Thero rebuilt the temple with a Tampita Image house using Nadun Timber as the base pillars and  laying the platform from the same timber. The Buddha Statue is also made of Nadun wood. The temple which was  called Kirielle Viharaya came to known as Nadun Rajamaha Viharaya thereafter. This Tampita Viharaya cannot be found today. The oldest structure found today is the Buddhalaya building which is believed to be located on the same place where the Tampita Viharaya stood.  It is possible that this viharaya has been been built by reinforcing the base of the ancient Tampita Viharaya with a stone foundation and building a outer stucture with the Tampita Viharaya in the center.

The temple houses a long pair of tusks which is said to be the longest in Asia and some believe that these tusks belong the the Kadol Etha, the royal elephant of warrior king Dutugemunu.

Nedun Raja Maha Viharaya at Kiriella
Nedun Raja Maha Viharaya at Kiriella
Photo by Senanayake Bandara

Also See

Map of Kiriella Nedun Rajamaha Vihara

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Travel Directions to Kiriella Nedun Rajamaha Vihara

Route from Colombo to Nedun Rajamaha Vihara

Route II from Colomboto Nedun Rajamaha Vihara

Through : Polgaswita – Horana – Ingiriya
Distance : 70 km
Travel time : 2 hours.
Driving directions : see on google map
Through : Kaduwela – Avissawella – Eheliyagoda
Distance :76 km
Travel time : 2 hours minutes.
Driving directions : see on google map


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