Thalawa Rajamaha Viharaya is a small but picturesque ancient temple hidden on a walled plateau above a stream in the Patha Hewaheta in Kandy District.
Lewis provides and detailed description of this hidden temple in 1921. The old viharaya is a rectangular building with a good Kandyan tiled roof which is crowned by “koth“at both ends. The pekadas are painted red, white and two shades of blue. The verandah was supported by carved wooden pillars, but a corner wall at each end has recently been built to take the place of these. This of course is not an improvement except from the point of view of stability.
There are besides two pillars of that classical type which was introduced into Ceylon at the British occupation—really a reminiscence of bungalows in India. The gonas capitals of the Kandyan pillars are of gammala wood (Pterocarpus marsupium)—the best wood for carving.
The outer vestibule, or hewisi mandape, has been built out of the remains of the wahalkada and the wooden pillars that supported the roof. Framing the inner door are two ivory borders of leaf pattern and two outer strips, four over the door. The whole door frame was brought from Hanguranketa Palace. There are strips of ivory all over the door dividing the compartments.
The Vihare contains a stone sedent Buddha. The makara torana over the figure is supported by lions, not by dancing girls, as is usual. This image has yellow robes, whereas the standing Buddhas, one on each side, have red robes. The wall behind the figures is very handsomely painted with lotus flowers on stalks in low relief.
On the ceiling of the ante-chamber is painted ” the Great War ”—the Maha Yuddha. There are flags depicted displaying the heads of elephants, boars and birds. This ceiling has been repainted. There is also a picture of King Kirti Sri, in whose reign the temple was built.
The Vessantara Jatakaya and a portion of the Sivi Jatakaya which adorn the walls have also been repainted in their former style. This was very well done by Low-country painters in 1880. On the left is the Temiya Jatakaya as also ” the ten former Buddhas ” (dasa Buddhun) in their different states, alternately on each side.
There are besides paintings of “Kosala Maha Rajjuruwo,” Vishnu (in blue) and Natha, all represented as Kandyan or Sinhalese kings without extra arms, etc,, as in Hindu temples. There is a copper bowl standing on a three-legged stool, both good specimens of their kinds.
- Lewis, J.P. (1921) “Kandyan Notes,” The Ceylon Antiquary Literary Register Volume VII 1921-1922, VII(Part II), p. 109.
Map of Pathahewaheta Thalawa Rajamaha Viharaya
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Travel Directions to Pathahewaheta Thalawa Rajamaha Viharaya
|From Pilimathalawa to Diyakelinawala Kithsiri Mewan Rajamaha Viharaya|
|Via : Haragama|
Distance : 21 km
Travel time : 45 mins
Time to Spend : about 30 minutes
Driving directions : see on Google Map