A Tampita Viharaya (or devalaya) 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. Inner and outer walls of the buildings are painted with themes such as Suvisi Vivaranaya, Jathaka stories and other Buddhist themes using natural colours in Kandyan Sittara style. These buildings were a popular religious architectural design during the Kandyan period.
According to H.C.P. Bell in Kegalle Report, this Pattini Devalaya is one of the oldest in the Kegalle district. The devalaya has Sannasa which carries this devalaya to the time of King Gajabahu I (112-134 CE)
When 1,088 years had expired from the death of our Lord Buddha, in the 852nd year after the establishing of the Buddhist religion in Lanka, the King Gaja Bahu, having heard that his subjects of the island of Lanka were carried away as slaves to Kaweriya, assembled his ministers and inquired concerning the abduction. Certified thereof, and enraged, taking the Yakandara, only to be lifted by sixty giants, which hs father the king had made for him, he struck the waters of the sea and dividing them crossed without wetting more than the soles of his feet. Then he went to Solirata and showed forth his power and recovered his subjects.
Further, he took from thence 7,700 kolmura-pot, 1,000 foot rings set with gems, by which Madura-pura was set fire to, some Kapuwas who performed ta ceremonies, with eighteen Tewas, the foot ring (halaba) of Pattini Deviyo, and on his return landed at Kotte. He caused to be built Kelani Nawagamuwa Devale and dedicated several lands and villages to it, and performed the Perahera festivals, and reigned there seven years.
Upon a time it fell that “an Angukkaraya of Doranegolapitiya, in the Kandurata Palatha of Mayadunu Koralaya,” had cultivated a chena and sown it with seven lahas of seed paddy. In the heua grew up a Tiyambara (a kind of cucumber), which covered four carpenters’ cubits (9 ft.) pace of ground. The prodigy was related to the king at Kotte, who, being pleased, ordered the man to produce the Tiyambara-Gediya When he returned to the chena he found a porcupine had partly eaten it. Then, in fear of consequences, the Angukkaraya hid himself in the jungle. After that messengers from the king carried the Tiyambara to Kotte. He ex1mined it and inquired for the chena owner. They said that he had disappeared. The king was mot angered, but sent for the Brahmins and ascertained from them the cause of the abnormal growth. ‘They submitted that it was due to the power of the god who landed from Desa (India).
The king, fearing that enemies might injure the Derian (foot ring of Pattini), sent for Golummahara Kapurala and informed him that the Derian could no longer be kept at Kelani, and bade him go to Kanduasa-palatha in Mayadunna and build a devale. Thereupon Gunaratna Senpati and the Kapurala went thither and had Tiyambarahena Devale built by Matota Jayawardhana Naide, in the lucky hour·Mula-nakata,on Monday, the seventh day of the full moon, in the month of Ill.
After completing it they returned and informed the king, who was pleased, and gave them rewards, and at the lucky hour Puse-nakata, on Wednesday, the fourteenth day after the full moon, in the month of Duruta, they conducted Dewiyan from Kelani Nawagamnwa to Tiyambarahena Devale and held several festivals. After that the following villages and lands were dedicated to it:–
Tiyambarahena, Angakkarayage-watta, and Nurugala of seven amunas of sowing extent : Viyalakumbura and Alu-anga of two amunas of sowing extent ; Tandulapitiya, Bogala, Teladiya, Gohingoda, Berawagoda, Belawulwana, and Kehelwatta of five pelas of sowing extent ; Pallegama, Udagama, Rotuwa, Madurumulla, Gurulawala, Moradana, and Galahitiywa of two amunas of sowing extent ; and Elagalla and Kabagoma.. ‘These pidiwiligan (dedicated to villages) and houses and gardens were granted by the setting the royal signature “Sri,” to be possessed by the dewale so long as the sun and moon endure.
The original devalaya has been destroyed and the new devalaya has been constructed during the Kotte Kingdom era. The current devalaya is built on 6 stone pillars as a tampita ge. The devalaya has been later extended using some concrete pillars and wooden beams.
According to Bell, the whole length of the building including the dig-ge is 42 feet 10 inches (13 meters) and the width is 10 feet 7 inches (3.2 meters). Only the inner sanctum is built in the form of a Tampita Ge on stone pillars. This is 11 feet 3 inches (3.4 meters) by 10 feet 7 inches (3.2 meters) in size. The wooden door frame 5 feet 6 inches high ahd 2 feet 8 inches wide is carved in a neat variation ot the continuous scroll pattern.
This devalaya lies between Ruwanwella and Kegalle. Traveling from Ruwanwella, ride upto Mabopitiya Junction on the Kegalle road (25 km) and turn right to Degalaeriya Road for 1.4 km to reach the Devala Handiya Junction. From this junction take Ganthuna road for 400 meters to reach the devalaya.
- H. C. P. BELL, 1904. ARCHEOLOGICAL, SURVEY OF CEYLON. REPORT ON THE KEGALLA DISTRICT · OF THE PROVINCE OF SABARAGAMUWA. 1st ed. Colombo: GEORGE J. A. SKEEN.
- Tampita Vihara of Sri Lanka Index
- Ancient Heritage Sites of Sri Lanka
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Map of the Undugoda Thiyambarahena Tampita Pattini Devalaya
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Driving Directions to Undugoda Thiyambarahena Tampita Pattini Devalaya
Route from Colombo to Undugoda Thiyambarahena Tampita Pattini Devalaya
|Though : Ambepussa – Kegalle|
distance : 100 km
Travel time :2 hours
Time to spend : 20-30 mins
Driving directions : see on google map