Kadupiti Madampe Thinapitiya Tampita Viharaya – කඩුපිටි මාදම්පේ තිණපිටිය ටැම්පිට විහාරය

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Thinapitiya Tampita Viharaya (Tinapitiya / Thinipitiya) is a temple built on pillars hidden away in Madampe overshadowed by more popular Thaniwella Devalaya by the main road.

A Tampita Viharaya is a structure built on a wooden platform which rests on number of stone or wooden 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.

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The Tampita Viharaya at Thinapitiya has been built or renovated in 1922 according to a painted figure found at the temple door frame. The tampita structure is built on 20 pillars which had decayed with time. All you will see of these pillars today are 5 feet 8 inches high 20 brick pillars which has replaced the original wooden pillars. The Tampita Viharaya is 33 feet 6 inches long 18 feet wide. A circumambulating path runs around the image and the inner chamber is 11 feet 5 inches long and 7 feet 5 inches wide. circumambulating path at the front is 3 feet 4 inches wide and other 3 sides are 2 feet 3 inches wide. On the side walls lie 2 standing Buddha statues.

A unique feature of this Tampita Viharaya is the existence of a “Hatharas Kotuwa”. The stair case of the viharaya end at the Hatharas Kotuwa in the front portion of the porch in front of the inner chamber.

Except for the pillars, the temple is in a good state of preservation. As you enter the viharaya two paintings of Aiyanayaka and Thaniwelle deities stand on the passageway. Inside the inner chamber lies a seated Buddha statue (4 feet 7 inches tall without the head dress) flanked by paintings of Seriyuth and Mugalan theros. Next to these close to the entrance lies two statues, deity Sumana Saman on the right and deity Vishnu on the right. Both statues are 4 feet 10 inches tall. Outside along the circumambulating path a painting of the deity Thaniwelle Devatha Bandara is seen. This is 5 feet 5 inches high. On the left is a 5 feet 8 inches tall painting of the deity Aiyanayaka.

Aiyanayaka Deviyo is a deity who is worshiped by rural Sri Lankans and is the protector of  reservoirs and specially the bund (embankment). Thaniwelle Devatha Bandara Deviyo is a local deity worshiped in this region.

The history of “Thaniwelle Devatha Bandara Deviyo” is an intriguing one.

King Weera Parakramabahu VIII of Kotte Kingdom (1477 – 1489) had two wives who were sisters. He had five sons; Dharma Parakamabahu, Sri Rajasinghe and Vijayabahu by one wife and Sakalakala Vallabha and Thaniya Wallabha by the other wife.

According to historical chronicles such as Rajaveliya and Alakeshwara Yuddhaya, during the final days of Weeraparakramabahu VIII, he had appointed 5 sons to rule these subkingdoms. His eldest son, Parakramabahu (later the king Dharma Parakramabahu IX) ruled the Colombo area of from Kotte and became the king of Kotte on the demise of this farther, prince Vijayabahu and prince Rajasinghe built the city of Monikkadawara, and whilst young men, lived in one place and cohabited with one woman. His other prince Bandara (Raigam Bandara) took residency in Raigama and his daughter was given in marriage to king of Ambulugala. He also had two sons by a lesser queen (sister of the principal queen). Prince Sakalakala Vallabha lived in a palace in Udugampola in Gampaha area and Udugampola in Gampaha area and Thaniya Vallabha in Madampe in Chilaw (Guṇasēkara, 1900).

Sub king Thaniya Wallabha is said to have equally contributed towards the economic stability of his region just as to political stability. The best known irrigation work he had carried out is the Maha Wewa reservoir in Madampe which had been built to support the agriculture in the region. This reservoir still can be seen about 2.5 km before devalaya supporting the surrounding paddy fields.

Many stories are told of the death of Thaniya Wallabha. One is that he went to war with his brother Sakalakala Vallabha against a Muslim trader named Kadirayana Mudaliyar who had landed in Chilaw with a large army to forcibly fish pearls off Chilaw sea and to capture elephants. They attacked, destroyed the army and captured 89 prisoners’ who were brought to Kotte. As per the tradition, his army was supposed to raise a white flag if he had won and black flag if he had lost. This served as a pre warning to the palace and its subjects where if they see a white flag they would plan their celebrations to greet the winning army and if a black flag is seen, the subjects and the palace would prepare for the ultimate loss of the king and the army.

The man who was in charge of raising a flag was called “Adapparaya” who had fallen in love with the queen and he had raised the black flag instead of the white flag hoping the queen may flee the palace but the queen had committed suicide instead. Some say the king too committed suicide once he realized the queens fate and some say he left the palace to spend the rest of his life meditating.

But another story is that none of this happened but Thaniya Wallabha was murdered by his grand son “Veediye Bandara” around 1853.

Irrespective of his death, king Thaniya Wallabha was deitified as Thaniwelle Bandara Deviyo by his subjects as with many other kings who had made immense contributions to its subjects. A dedicated Devalaya for this deity by the main road attracts many travelers through Madampe.

References

  • Gunasekara, B., 1900. The Rajavaliya or A Historical Narrative of Sinhalese Kings from Vijaya to to Vimala Dharma Suriya II. 1st ed. Colombo: GEORGE J. A, SKEEN.
  • Thalgahawela Sumedha Thero, 2021. පුත්තලම දිස්ත්රික්කයේ ටැම්පිට පිලිමගෙවල් සහ ටැම්පිට දේවාල. 1st ed. Chilaw: Thalgahawela Sumedha Thero.

Also See

Map of the Thinapitiya Tampita Viharaya

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Driving Directions to Thinapitiya Tampita Viharaya

Route from Colombo to Thinapitiya Tampita Viharaya

Though : Negombo
distance : 70 km
Travel time :1.45 hours
Time to spend : 30-45   mins
Driving directions : see on google map

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