Weliwita Sri Sanghikarama Tampita Viharaya (වැලිවිට ශ්‍රී සාංඝිකාරාම ටැම්පිට විහාරය)

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Weliwita Sri Sanghikaramaya is an important temple to Buddhists due to its connection to the Weliwita Saranankara Sangaraja Thero who was instrumental in the Buddhist revival in the country during the reign of king Keerthi Sri Rajasinghe (1747 – 1781) when the Buddhism had deteriorated to a level that the country couldn’t even ordain priest.

Weliwita Saranankara thero was born in Thudugalahena in Ihalagama in Welivita, just below the area of the temple. Its is said that Saranankara thero used to visit this temple when he was young. Later, once he was appointed as the Sangaraja, the king has developed this temple and handed over to the thero. He is said to have told the king that he shouldn’t need a temple and asked him to donate the temple  to Sanga in general thus the temple came to be known as the Sanghikaramaya.

The Tampita Viharaya at the Weliwita Sri Sanghikaramaya consist of the Tampita Viharaya itself and a Hevisi Mandapaya in front of it. Both these structures are built on a 1 foot 6 inch high raised platform.

A Tampita Viharaya 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. Walls inside the chamber is more or less always covered in paintings drawn mainly in Kandyan style.

With the Buddhist renaissance brought by Weliwita Saranankara Thero (19 June 1698 – 18 July 1778), village temples were provided with preaching halls and Tampita Viharas. Several of them were built in Tumpane. Some of them have been modernised. Following are the places where such tampita viharas are found in Tumpane;

  1. Godapola
  2. Kalotuwawa 
  3. Dunkumbura
  4. Minigamuwa
  5. Gurudeniya
  6. Weliwita Sri Sanghikaramaya

The Tampita Viharaya at Weliwita Sri Sanghikaramaya  is built on 20 granite stumps of 2 feet 9 inches high. The viharaya is 14 feet 6 inches long and 9 feet wide. A 2 feet 6 inch circumambulating path is built around the image house with a timber railing. The roof is thatched with flat clay tiles typical of buildings of Kandyan era. A wooden flight of steps is built in front of the structure. Unfortunately attempts to restore statues and paintings by amateurs have botched the originality in them. The Hevisi Mandapaya is built on 4 brick pillars. The roof of this structure is thatched with calicut tiles suggesting that this part has been built at a later date.

To reach Weliwita Sri Sanghikaramaya from Kandy, travel to Aladeniya Junction on the Kurunegala Road through Katugastota or Peradeniya. From Aladeniya turn left at the IOC filling station and fall in to Muruthalawa Road. Travel 3 km up to Kambiadiya junction (at the 3km post) take the left turn on the the road which leads to Hataraliyadda. Travel on this road for 11 km to reach the temple.


  1. Wijewardhana, K., 2010. ශ්‍රී ලංකාවේ ටැම්පිට විහාර. 1st ed. Colombo: Dayawansa Jayakodi.
  2. Abeyawardhana, H. A. P. (2004) Heritage of Kandurata: Major Natural, Cultural, and Historic Sites. Kandy: Kandurata Development Bank, in association with the Central Bank of Sri Lanka.

Also See

Map of the Weliwita Sri Sanghikarama Tampita Viharaya

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Driving Directions to Weliwita Sri Sanghikarama Tampita Viharaya

Route from Peradeniya to Weliwita Sri Sanghikarama Tampita Viharaya

Though : Gampola road
distance : 14 km
Travel time : 45 minutes
Driving directions : see on google map

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