Tissawa Rajamaha Viharaya and Tissawa Rock Ruins – තිස්සව රජමහා විහාරය

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Restored Stupa at the top of Tissawa Rock

Restored Stupa at the top of Tissawa Rock

Tissawa is small town 12 km off Panduwasnuwara and 35 km off Kurunegala. This remote town is draped by a massive rocky mass over 900 meters long carrying the same name of Tissawa. According to folklore, A minister called Upatissa in the group of Vijaya (543-505 BC) who landed in the 543 BC had settled in this area and thus became known as Tissawa.

Tissawa Rajamaha Viharaya temple is believed to be built during the era of king Wattagamini Abhaya (Walagamba) (89-77 BC). Although nothing much of historical value remains in the temple today the temple lies in a tranquil and a peaceful environment creating an enchanting experience for the visitor.

The temple consists two image houses, both utilizing natural rock caves with drip ledges. Origins of these image houses goes back to the Anuradhapura era. However the the larger image house has been rebuilt recently. The image house in the smaller cave is older and has been rebuilt during the era of king Keerti Sri Rajasinghe (1747 – 1781) under the guidance of Welivita Sri Saranankara maha thero. The existing stupa is of a new design built on a room like structure. Inside this room you will find a much smaller ancient stupa of the temple.

There are few other caves with drip ledges hidden in the jungles around the rock. The foundation of a small stupa believed to be belonging to the Anuradhapura era too can be seen on edge of the temple. A similar stupa at the top of the Tissawa Rock has been completely restored by the department of archaeology.

Access to the Tissawa Rock is though the temple premises. After climbing through a jungle path, you will reach the top of the long narrow rock with an incredible view of the surrounding area.  At the top of the rock you will find the second stupa and a Bodhigara fully restored by the authorities. In additon a holy foot print of the Buddha too can be seen among the ruins at the top.

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Map of  Tissawa Rajamaha Viharaya


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Traveling Directions to Tissawa Rajamaha Viharaya

Route from Chillaw to Tissawa Rajamaha Viharaya

Through : Bingiriya – Panduwasnuwara
Time to spend – 1-2 hours
Distance : 47 km
Travel time : 1.30 hours
Driving directions : see on google map
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