Wadakada Seruwagala Purana Viharaya – වදාකඩ සේරුවාගල පුරාණ විහාරය

Wadakada Seruwagala Purana Viharaya

Wadakada Seruwagala Purana Viharaya
photo by : Subhash Sampath

Seruwagala Purana Viharaya lies on a large rock surface covering an area of over 50 acres in Wadakada, Kurunegala. Current temple at the site goes back to the Kandyan Era but according to folklore this temple has been built during the period of king Walagamba. However no evidence to backup this can be found today.

Out of the buildings of the temple the image house which goes back to the Kandyan era is the most prominent. This image house and the stupa is built upon a platform protected by a thick retainer wall built with rock. This wall is said to be the oldest structure in the temple. This is about 1 metre tall and is made of granite blocks of various sizes.There are three entrances to the platform two on the west and one of the south.

The image house is built on a 75 cm tall platform on the rock and is 9.53 meters long and 9.12 meters wide. The structure consist of a inner chamber and a outer chamber encapsulating the inner chamber. The whole building is made out of Kabbok bricks with 54 cm thick walls.

The entrance to the inner chamber is somewhat unique. The door frame shows a complex  shape of sooryawanka design which is not common. This shape has been made using the wall itself. The door frame is covered in floral designs. The Makara Thorana starts from way above the door frame. Sixteen deities including Brahma, Siva, Saman and Vishnu on each side (totaling 32)  of the Kimbisi Muhuna has been sculptured. Two 1.92 meter tall Nagaraja guardian deities can be seen on the sides of the door.

The outer walls of the inner chamber is painted with scenes from prince Siddhartha’s life, Wessanthara Jathaka story, Suthasoma Jathaka story and the Dahamsonda Jathaka story.

The main Samadhi Buddha statue in the inner sanctum is 99cm tall up to the top of the head dress. An aura around the Buddha has been painted on the wall behind the statue. Sun and Moon is painted at the top of this wall. Buddha’s chief disciples, Sariputta and Moggallana stand beside the Buddha.

Two standing Buddha statues with Abhaya Mudra stand on the side walls facing each other. Each is 2.11 meters tall and stand on a 20cm tall pedestal. Next to the left-side Buddha statue lie a 2.1 meter high statue of the deity Vishnu. Opposite to him on the other wall stand a statue of deity Saman with six heads and 12 hands.

Unfortunately all the wall paintings and sculptures have been repainted in the recent past thus has lost some of its antiquity.

The stupa on the right to the image house is said to be about 150 years old. Its built upon a 1.3 meter high octagonal Weli Maluwa.

About 350 meters southwest to the raised platform with with the retaining wall you will find a brick mound of an ancient building.  This is called Maligagodella by the villagers meaning “Palace Mound”. According to legend, this is the remains of an ambalama which has been built by a  local king living in Udapola. The mound has a diameter of about 15 metres and is about 80 centimeters high. A hole has been dug at the centre of this  mound by treasure hunters.

Although this is considered an ambalama, archeologists have not found any remains of clay roof tiles. Since this ruin lies at the top most point of this rocky plain and no pieces of clay tiles has been found, archaeologists believe that this is possibly remains of an ancient stupa. Another much smaller mound can be found south to Maligagodella.

Two holes cut in to the rock can be seen west to the image house. These holes, 6 cm long and 11 cm deep have probably been pillar bases of an ancient building.  Another interesting artifact is a large square hole cut in to the rock and a slab of stone close by believed to be the lid of this hole. According to legend treasures had been hidden in this hole and sealed by the slab of rock. This treasure has been discovered and taken away by some Indians at some time in the past.

The temple lies between Narammala and Wadakada in Kurunegala district. It is 9 km away from Narammala and 3.5 km from Wadakada.

Primary Source : ගවේෂන – 2 කලාපය – වයඹ පලාතේ පුරාවිද්‍යා ගවේෂන – 1 අදියර විශේෂ කලාපය – පුරාවිද්‍යා දෙපාර්තුමේන්තුව
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Also See

Map of Wadakada Seruwagala Purana Viharaya and Other Places of Interest


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Driving Directions to Wadakada Seruwagala Purana Viharaya

Route from Colombo to Wadakada Seruwagala Purana Viharaya

Route from Polgahawela to Wadakada Seruwagala Purana Viharaya

Though : Katunayake – Divulapitiya – Giriulla – Dambadeniya – Narammala
Distance : 92 km
Travel time : 2.5 hours
Time to spend : 45 mins
Driving directions : see on google map
Though : Wadakada
Distance : 13 km
Travel time : 30 mins
Time to spend : 45 mins
Driving directions : see on google map

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