Sapugaskanda Sri Vijaya Sunandarama Rajamaha Viharaya is an ancient Buddhist temple lying on a high rock plateau in the Wadakada area. The current temple has been build during the era of king Sri Vijaya Rajasinghe (1739 -1747) of the Kandyan kingdom and thus named as Vijayasundararama. This temple consist of an ancient Tampita Viharaya from the Kandyan era and a Bodhi tree which is over 500 years old as well as a monks residence which is over 150 years old.
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. Walls inside the chamber is more or less always covered in paintings drawn mainly in Kandyan style.
Wadakada Sapugaskanda Tampita Viharaya is built on 20 granite pillar stumps and is comparatively large. A flight of wooden steps leads to the top of the platform. The structure is completely covered with a plastered wall from floor to the roof. There is a narrow circumambulating path built around the inner chamber and the outer wall. Access to the inner chamber (image house) is through a plain wooden door frame flanked by statues of two guardian deities.
A seated Buddha statue can be seen at the center of the image house. Another standing Buddha statues can be found on the left wall of the image house. The opposite space on the right wall is blank. Another standing Buddha statue would have originally stood here which had been removed during a later renovation. Next are two statues of Katharagama deity and Vishnu deity facing each other. Kataragama deity is considered to have 6 hands but this statue is unique with only 2 hands sculptured to the deity. In addition, you can also find a statue of Sapumal Bandara deity in the Tampita Viharaya.
The walls of the image house is covered with murals now fading with time. One important and rare mural found in this image house is a painting of Welivita Asarana Sarana Sangaraja Thero who is believed to have spent some time here.
In addition the Vishnu statue at the Tampita Viharaya, 2 more ancient statues of Vishnu can be found at this temple, thus it is believed that this temple has been a place of worship of Vishnu from the ancient times.
In the Buddhist tradition, Vishnu is often known and is worshiped as “Upulvan” (Pali. Uppala-Vanna) meaning the Blue-Lotus-Coloured. Vishnu is frequently depicted as blue colored (Blue being a euphemism for the original Black color of the deity). Vishnu as Upulvan is considered a Bodhisttva and the protector of the island of Sri Lanka. Buddha before his parinirvana saw the island of Sri Lanka as the future place where his teachings will flourish. Therefore, he orders Sakra for its protection. Sakra then entrusts the protection of the island to Vishnu according to Mahavansa, the great chronicle of Sri Lanka.
“When the Guide of the World, having accomplished the salvation of the whole world and having reached the utmost stage of blissful rest, was lying on the bed of his nibbana; in the midst of the great assembly of gods, he, the great sage, the greatest of those who have speech, spoke to Sakka’ who stood there near him: `Vijaya, son of king Sihabahu, is come to Lanka from the country of Lala, together with seven hundred followers. In Lanka, O lord of gods, will my religion be established, therefore carefully protect him with his followers and Lanka.
“When the lord of gods heard the words of the Buddha he from respect handed over the guardianship of Lanka to the god who is in colour like the lotus. ”
Alternate names : Sri Vijayasunandarama, Sri Wijaya Sunandarama. Sri Wijayasunandarama
- Tampita Vihara Heritage of Sri Lanka
- Ancient Heritage Sites of Sri Lanka
- Other Places of Interest Within Close Proximity
Map of the Sapugaskanda Sri Vijaya Sunandarama Tampita Viharaya
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Driving Directions to Sapugaskanda Sri Vijaya Sunandarama Tampita Viharaya
Route from Polgahawela to Sapugaskanda Sri Vijaya Sunandarama Tampita Viharaya
|Though : Kahawatta Ela|
distance : 11 km
Travel time :20 mins
Time to spend : 30 – 45 mins
Driving directions : see on google map