NADUN RAJAMAHA VIHARA

One can reach Nadun Rajamaha Vihara by travelling about 1 km along Hindurangala road from Idangoda-Kiriella town in Ratnapura-Panadura main route.

This sanctum is located in a fabulous land encircled by a stretch of paddy fields and beautified with a mountainous background replete with Kabaragala Mountain. This place of worship was erected in the reign of King Sri Vikrama Rajasinha. The earliest Tampita Vihara, which is dismissed with indents of time, was located on a Nadun (Pericopsis mooniana) trunk. Instead ‘Buddhalaya’ the oldest edifice in vihara complex, is considered to be erected in the same location where once the Tampita vihara was.

The largest pair of elephant tusks in Asia, which was once bought for vihara, belongs to Nadun Vihara. Currently there are three vihara premises built on a stone-wall filled with soil anticipating the protection of vihara from flood. Except vihara premises and monasteries, the other area still floods whenever it rains heavily.

The awakening of Buddhist dispensation in Sabaragamuwa province especially including Ratnapura District has its origins in Nadun Vihara. Dewarakkhitha thero, who resided here, has written “Madum Sangiya”, which was included 152 types of sutra (theorems) and granted it to the King, who was delighted and ready to offer a royal honour. Then Dewarakkhitha thero has requested that it would be better to be granted the nearby village named Dumbara to pluck some “Miyana” leaves. Considering the request King Rajasinhe I have immediately offered the village, which was about 8305 acres in area, marking the 4 boundaries in everlasting manner.

Among the especial features of this sanctum “Makara Thorana” (Makara Portico) is more significant. This was erected not as usual as in other temples above the entrance of image house, but above the Lord Buddha’s sculpture like a “Jathra”. These edifices are older than 175 years. New wall paintings have been done on faded old murals on the walls of central vihara. Although the oldest murals that belong to Mahanuwara reign remain even today.

Moreover, instead of the images of “Sariyuth” and “Mugalan” mendicants usually place in either sides of the sculpture of Lord Buddha, placing images of two deities namely Vishnu and Saman is a specialty among other features that can be seen in the old vihara house of Nadun Vihara. After reconstructing the new sanctum complex using Nadun wood brought from Dumbara, this place was entitled as Nadun vihara which was formally known as Kiriella Vihara.

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