SRI ARAHANTTHA MALIYADEWA RAJAMAHA VIHARA

The sanctuary located in the Valley of Maa-Oya stream can be met by proceeding 2.8 km on Kegalle-Polgahawela route. The vihara is considered to be the sacred abode of the last arahant in Sri Lanka, Ven. Maliyadewa thero who attained enlightenment in the same place of worship.

 

The origin of this sacred vihara complex travels back in time to the reign of King Dewana Pethis (307-267 B.C.). Also the terrain has been honored by the dear association of Ven. Mihindu Maharahath thero. The few remaining ruins even after a huge course of innovation evidence a historical vihara complex descends from Anuradhapura epoch. Due to the compass of vihara edifices, the place was denominated as “Wattarama”. In accordance with the survey done in 1865, it is revealed that the temple land expands unto 145 acres. Wattarama is mentioned to be done by King Gotabhaya; grandchild of King Mahanaga in centuries B.C. Later the entire story was documented in olas named “Wattarama Vistharaya” by King Gotabhaya (253-266 A.D.); brother of King Sirisangabo. One of the “Dethispala Reha” Bodhi-tree is implanted in Wattarama and the story of above implantation is evidenced by “Sinhala Maha Bodhi Wanshaya”.

 

Still some places with ancient stones with sacred foot print and monoliths are preserved unharmed by the innovations. Several pile inscriptions fallen into decay can be sighted here and there. Remains of two ancient dagabas can be seen adjacent to vihara complex and old bricks can be found split in the vicinity. The antiqueness and historicity have been hardly taken into consideration, when renovating and erecting new edifices. Signs of an ancient quinary hermitage are also visible.

 

The “Kuda Vihara” erected by King Kirthi Sri Rajasinha (1746- 1779 A.D.) who reigned during Mahanuwara kingdom is still shining with paintings, “Makara” portico and “Pethi Pilimaya” (Painted likeness as opposed to a solid image). The largest edifice was erected very recently. Stone-doorframe of the new vihara complex is exquisitely decorated with a rare incision. The golden sculpture and Olas are enshrined in the octagonal library. Wattarama is currently designated as a sacred town.

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