Ruins at Yatidola Pahala Purana Rajamaha Viharaya

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From Kegalle, about five kilometers on the Polgahawela road, at the Devalagama junction, turn onto the Pussalla by road. After about 3.5 kilometers, you will come across the ancient Yatidola Pahala Rajamaha Viharaya.

There is a stone staircase with 100 steps leading from the temple grounds to reach this cave temple. The cave temple is built under a rock that protrudes from the mountain.

The len viharaya (cave temple) is 43 feet 8 inches long. To the south of the temple building is a small stupa inside the cave. The len viharaya has both front and side entrances.

In front of the left wall of this cave, there is a statue of Vishnu and two sitting and standing Buddha statues. Along the rear wall, there are two seated Buddha statues and two standing Buddha statues. In front of the right wall is a huge seated statue measuring 7 feet 6 inches high and 6 feet 6 inches wide.

In this temple complex, you will find Buddha statues adorned with exquisite halos. The robes on the seated statues are painted orange, whereas the robes on the standing Buddha are painted red. The cave temple showcases depictions of the ‘Mara Yuddhaya‘ (the fight with demons of death just before Buddha’s enlightenment) on its roof. The front wall is adorned with paintings depicting scenes from the Dhahamsonda and Vessantara Jataka stories.

Mr. Bell reports that this temple was last renovated on the guidance of Lewke Disawe and the head of the statues were disproportionately enlarged and renovated.

At the base of this rock, there is a small cave temple next to the bottom of the rock. The Kegalu report in 1892 states that the dragon arch was intact but the color had faded. It is said that the Portuguese broke off the head of a sitting Buddha statue and threw it in to a ditch of a nearby canal, and it is noted that this ditch was known as Kota Budu Wala at that time.

References

  • H.C.P බෙල් (සිංහල පරිවර්තනය කොත්මලේ කේ. බී. ඒ. එඩ්මන්ඩ් ), 2005. ලංකා පුරාවිද්‍යා ගවේෂණය කෑගල්ල දිස්ත්‍රික්කය පිලිබඳ වාර්තාව (Report On The Kegalle District – 1892 : සිංහල පරිවර්තනය). 1st ed. කොළඹ: පුරාවිද්‍යා දෙපාර්තුමේන්තුව.

Also See

Map of Yatidola Pahala Purana Rajamaha Viharaya

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Yatidola Pahala Purana Rajamaha Viharaya Driving Directions

From Kegalle to Yatidola Pahala Purana Rajamaha Vihara
Via : Dewalagama
Total Distance : 8.4 Kms
Duration : 20 minutes (+100 steps)
Travel Time : Around 1-2 Hours
Driving Directions :  View on Google Map

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