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.
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 20 concrete pillars which has replaced the original wooden pillars.
Except for the pillars, the temple is in a good state of preservation. As you enter the viharaya two paintings of Aiyanayaka and Thanivelle deities stand on the passageway. Inside the inner chamber lies a seated Buddha statue flanked by Seriyuth and Mugalan theros. Next to these statues stand statues of deities, Aiyanayaka and Thaniwelle Devatha Bandara.
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 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.
When the sons grew up, the king divided his kingdom in to five regions and allowed the five sons to rule the area as regional kings. Dharma Parakamabahu ruled the capital Kotte, Sri Rajasinghe from Manikkadawara, Vijayabahu from Raigama, Sakalakala Vallabha from Udugampola and Thaniya Wallabha from Madampe. For years these 5 regional rulers worked as one helping each other bringing stability to the whole region.
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 Soli (or Muslim?) army and and 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.
- Tampita Vihara Heritage of Sri Lanka
- Ancient Heritage Sites of Sri Lanka
- Other Places of Interest Within Close Proximity
Map of the Thinapitiya Tampita Viharaya
The map above also shows other places of interest within a approximately 20 km radius of the current site. Click on any of the markers and the info box to take you to information of these sites.
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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