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Welagama Raja Maha Viharaya

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Situated in the Hatharaliyadda Provincial Division, there are two roads to enter the Welagama Raja Maha Viharaya. Visitors travelling from Mawanella and Rambukkana, should travel 3 kms from Kebellawatte junction towards Hatharaliyadda and on the Hatharaliyadda - Rambukkana road another 2.5kms to reach this Viharaya.

According to historical records about the Viharaya, it is believed that during 104-103 B.C, King Watta Gamani Abhaya alias Walagamba who ruled the country had to hide in rock caves in the area when facing threats from South Indian invaders ...

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Situated in the Hatharaliyadda Provincial Division, there are two roads to enter the Welagama Raja Maha Viharaya. Visitors travelling from Mawanella and Rambukkana, should travel 3 kms from Kebellawatte junction towards Hatharaliyadda and on the Hatharaliyadda - Rambukkana road another 2.5kms to reach this Viharaya.

According to historical records about the Viharaya, it is believed that during 104-103 B.C, King Watta Gamani Abhaya alias Walagamba who ruled the country had to hide in rock caves in the area when facing threats from South Indian invaders. Due to external threats and natural causes this Viharaya faced severe deterioration. However, during the Kandyan era, Weliwita Sri Saranankara Thero rebuilt it to its former glory.

There are five rock caves with Kataram (boiling vats) carved inside comprising three mansions namely - Udu Viharaya, Meda Viharaya and Palle Viharaya. Ancient paintings in these temples, having been renovated later, reflect characteristics of the Kandy Era. The entrance to the Udu Viharaya is an ornately carved stone doorframe. Its height is seven feet and each pillar is one foot and three inches in width. It has been designed with murals, writings and with petal design carvings.

Two carved statues of lions are seen at its two bases. A two-foot-high stone window is seen to the left of the doorframe. Two Makara (dragon) figures are carved above the window. A Makara Thorana (arched gateway) guards the entrance to the Viharaya. To the left of the entrance Mathupopaka Jathakaya and to the right the Siduhath Upatha can be seen. At the entrance of the Viharaya, a six-foot sculpture of deity Dedimunda. Parallel to the entrance doorway, to be seen on the right is six foot painting. However, it is unclear if the painting is of a deity, royal figure, or even of a Nilame.

At the entrance, on left side wall is a painting of the Dahamsoda Jathakaya.  At the end of the right side wall is he ‘Pirinivan Manchaka’ and close to it is half door described as a ‘Nain Ge’. Beyond this half door is a lengthy stone passage that has, where the height is insufficient for a person to walk through. A painting depicting the ‘Damsak Pavathuma’, a number of statures of deities, and two paintings of Lord Buddha. On the ceiling there are paintings of Nelum flowers, plants and Binara flowers.

A 19-foot Sleeping Buddha statue is found inside the Udu Viharaya and vertically on the left, a four foot seated statue. Towards the right of the Buddha’s foot print, there’s a six foot statue of Deity Katharagama and on the wall are paintings of Suvisi Vivaranaya and a line of Rahathans. The roof is decorated with Nelum flowers. Close to the statue of Lord Kataragama, there’s a painting of a king.

At the right side of the Udu Viharaya’s lower floor, there’s a door to enter the Meda Viharaya. The Chaitya is the oldest creation of the Meda Viharaya. This is five feet high and to the left is a 2 ½ feet Buddha statue with a base of Muchalinda Naga. On both sides of the Chaitya, there are two standing five-foot Buddha statues. There’s also an 8-foot Vishnu statue and on the left wall is a descriptive painting of the Thelapatta Jataka.


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