Uda Aludeniya Raja Maha Viharaya (උඩ අළුදෙනිය රජමහා විහාරය)

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The Uda Aludeniya Raja Maha Viharaya is located on the Kandy – Gampola road and is said to have been built by a person called Maayim Bandara during the reign of King Buvanekabahu IV (1341-1351) of Gampola Kingdom. According to records this temple was constructed in the form of a Tampita Vihara temple built on a platform above ground) and in 1930 it was reconstructed as a modern temple.

There is another tradition that, during the reign of the same King, Chandrajoti Thero who was a member of the royal family who had become a Buddhist monk (rajawansayek mahanawa siti), went on a long journey, and when he was returning he got benighted at this village, which was then inhabited by people of the chaliya caste. Owing to the inhospitality of the villagers he had to pass the night in a cave there.

On arriving at Gampola he reported this behaviour of theirs to the King. The King visited his displeasure on them by driving them out of the village to Selawa in Four Korales. Further, he built the present Vihare, gave a gold image of Buddha to it, and dedicated the lands of the late inhabitants of the village to the upkeep of the temple.

Nothing of historical significance remains today in this temple except a wooden doorframe called “Ranbewa”. This beautifully carved white sandalwood doorframe with floral vegetal designs with friezes of dancers, musicians, images of couples, and flying Gansharvas is placed as the main entrance to the Vishnu Devale ( Shrine for Deity Vishnu) of the temple. It is said that this doorframe was brought here from the Royal Palace of King “Buwanekabahu IV. “ This doorframe can be regarded as the earliest example of wood carving which has so far come to light in Sri Lanka.

In 2004, excavators of the Archaeological Department who were carrying out conservation work on a small stupa found 120 priceless bronze Buddha statues in two bronze caskets and an ancient “makara thorana” from a small dilapidated dagoba. After conservation, the chief prelate of the temple gifted these to the National Museum at Colombo.

According to an old document at Maninarama at Veligalla, a wooden door frame called ” Ranbewa” was sent as a gift from Kotte to Gampola and it was deposited at a two-storied building in Aludeniya Viharaya.

To reach the temple travel along the Kandy-Gampola Road until you come to Veligalla. Turn right (if you are coming from the Kandy side) and travel about a mile to reach the Aludeniya

References

  1. Seneviratna, A., 1983. Kandy: an Illustrated Survey of Ancient Monuments With Historical, Archaeological and Literary Descriptions Including Maps of the City and Its Suburbs. Colombo: Central Cultural Fund, Ministry of Cultural Affairs.
  2. Lewis, J.P. (1921) “Kandyan Notes,” The Ceylon Antiquary Literary Register Volume VII 1921-1922, VII(Part II), p. 109.

Also See

Map of Uda Aludeniya Raja Maha Viharaya

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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 Uda Aludeniya Raja Maha Viharaya

Route from Colombo to Aludeniya Viharaya Route from Kandy to Aludeniya Viharaya
Though : Kandy Road – Peradeniya – Weligalla
Distance : 120 km
Travel time : 4 hours
Driving directions : see on google map
Though : Peradeniya – Weligalla
distance : 15 km
Travel time : 30 minutes
Driving directions : see on google map

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