Walalgoda Purana Tampita Viharaya – වලල්ගොඩ පුරාණ ටැම්පිට විහාරය
Walalgoda Purana Tampita Viharaya is one of the few Tampita Temples surviving today. The unique feature of the Tampita Viharaya is that the image house is built above the ground level. Some temple have been built on top of stone columns and some on wooden columns.
In addition to being a Tampita Viharaya this temple is well known for its Kandyan Era murals which cover the walls. Though this temple has been in existence since ancient times the current temple has been built in the 16th century during the Kandyan Kingdom, specifically 37th year of the Sri Wickrama Rajasinhe’s rule. According to a document in the temple, it has been built for a Upali Thero from Thailand by Alahakoon Muniyanse and Wijayakoon Mudiyanse who has also donated a large amount of land to the temple for its maintenance.
This temple has been ransacked of all valuables and burned number of times during the Portuguese and Dutch Periods. Finally only the Tampita Viharaya had been remaining during the times of King Sri Wickrama Rajasinhe.
The current tampita image house is two storied and built upon 16 wooden columns. The building is 23 feet 4 inches in length and 18 feet 6 inches long. in size and The upper floor has been built to be used as a image house and lower floor as a Pohoya Ge to be used by the monks. A wooden stairway takes you to the image house on the upper floor. This upper floor image house is 18 feet and 6 inches long and 13 feet 5 inches wide. The inner chamber is filled with typical Kandyan Sittara style paintings. A 3 foot 5 inch wide corridor goes around the inner chamber. An half height wall is built surrounding the corridor.
The abdomen of the original Buddha Statue inside the hall has been destroyed by treasure hunters but is now repaired.
This temple has been named as a protected archaeological site in 2002 and is under the protection of the Archaeological Department. But sadly this building and murals are said to be in a bad state without proper care by the authorities.
To reach the temple, take the Middeniya road from Panamure for 2.5 km to find the sign board to the Walalgoda Purana Tampita Viharaya. Travel another 2 km on this gravel (might be tared now) road to find the temple.
Map of Walalgoda Purana 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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Travel Directions to Walalgoda Purana Tampita Viharaya
Route from Colombo to Walalgoda Purana Tampita Viharaya
|Though : Horana – Ratnapura (A8) – Pelmadulla (A4) – Madampe (A18) – Rakwana ( A17) – Suriyakanda ( B115 ) – Panamure – Walalgoda|
Distance :180 km
Travel time : 3.30 hours.
Driving directions : see on google map