Omalpe Purana Tampita Viharaya – ඕමල්පේ පුරාණ ටැම්පිට විහාරය

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Omalpe Purana Tampita Viharaya
Omalpe Purana Tampita Viharaya

Omalpe Purana Viharaya is an ancient temple with a Tampita Viharaya built during the era of the Kandyan kingdom. The temple lies between Urubokka and Panamure on the same route as Dapane Sri Jayasumanaramaya Tampita Viharaya.

Although Omalpe doesn’t have a reservoir today, ruins exists of a ancient reservoir. It is said that the name for this village was derived from to abundance of of Olu (water lily) flowers in the reservoir (olu – mal – pe).


A Tampita Viharaya is a structure built on a wooden platform which rests on number of stone stumps usually 3-4 feet tall. The roof is held by a structure built of timber and the walls are generally made of wattle and daub. These buildings were a popular religious architectural design during the Kandyan period.

Although the details of establishment of this temple is not known, following 4 lines are carved on the top of the entrance of the Tampita Viharaya building.

වසිණ එක්දහස් සත්සිය දෙසාලි                    ස
මසිණ පොසොන් පුර පසළොස් රිවිදව          ස
නමිණ ගරු තෙන්නකෝන් අගමැති නොල   ස
විසිණ නිම කෙරෙවු මුණි මැදුරය මෙව         ස

Based on the above, the Tampita Viharaya has been built by Omalpe Thennokoon Mudali and completed on the Poson Poya Day in 1742. There are two other popular beliefs surrounding this viharaya. One is that this was built by a secretary of the Ehelapola Adhikaram, Alahakoon Mudiyanse who is also credited with building the Walalgoda Tampita Viharaya which lies few kilometers away.

According to folklore, during the ceremony of handing over the Walalgoda Tampita Viharaya to Sanga, a low caste villager had trampled the mat the wife of Alahakoon Mudiyanse was sitting. Due to a disagreement regarding this event, Alahakoon Mudiyanse has built another another temple (Omape Tampita Viharaya) few kilometers away and donated to Sanga. Another folklore is that this Tampita Viharaya was built by a chieftain called Campane Rala during the reign of king Kirthi Sri Rajasinghe (1747 – 1781) of Kandyan Kingdom.

The Tampita Viharaya at the Omalpe Purana Viharaya is similar in structure of the Walalgoda Tampita Viharaya which lies few kilometers away. The structure is built on nine  6 feet 6 six inch high granite stumps. The lower area is built as a ground floor creating a two storied building.  The complete structure is house is 65 feet 7 inches long and 40 feet 8 inches wide.

A wooden stair case takes you the image house on the upper floor. A narrow circumbulary pathway is built around the image image house.  At the center of the image house is a seated Samadhi Buddha statue.  The chief disciples, Sariputta and Moggalana maha theros are painted on the side of the Buddha statue. The two side walls are covered in various frescos and among them paintings of deities such as Eshwara, Kataragama, Vishu, Saman, Ghana, Bhakma and Sakra are prominent.

One unusual painting among them is a female with a lotus flower in the hand at a corner of the seat of the seated Buddha image.

Omalpe Tampita Viharaya can be reached from Urubokka, Kella or from Panamure. It is 12 km off Urubokka, 12 km from Kella Junction and 10 km from Panamure junction.

Also See

Map of Omalpe Purana Tampita Viharaya

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Driving Directions to Omalpe Purana Tampita Viharaya

Route from Urubokka to Omalpe Purana Tampita Viharaya
Though : Ginnaliya
distance : 12 km
Travel time : 30 minutes
Time to spend : 30 – 45  mins
Driving directions : see on google map

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