Lankathilaka Viharaya

Temple | Historical | Kandy

Lankathilaka Viharaya

Since the focus towards the world heritage site Kandy has increased, Lankathilaka viharayais a place must to be visited without denying. The temple was built by king Buvanekabahu 4 around the 14th century. The architect of the building has used bricks and clay to erect. The chief minister of the kingdom, ‘Senalankadikara’ had to carry out the construction process of the temple.

It is believed that the south Indian architect, ‘Sathapati rayar’ has illustrated and created the designs, concocting Sinhalese architecture with Dravidian and Indo Chinese architectural patterns.

Significantly Lankathilaka viharaya differs from other monumental shrines, temples and religious destinations made during the kandian kingdom. Never the less it has earned a reputation among the travelers as a characteristically Sinhalese architectural feature. Outer walls of the Lankathilaka viharaya are embellished with traditional Sinhala sculptures. Evidence archeologists say that they belong to the Pollonnaruwa kingdom. By the way the temple was revamped several times by King Vijayabahu 4. A long passage to the statue will guide you to the place. Firstly this image house was a four storied mansion (recorded in the Lankatilake copper plaque), but today you can see just 3 stories.

Two huge pillars are built beside the entrance to the building (today these have been broken down). The remaining stone doorway arch is another curious feature. You will get attracted as soon as you find the ‘Mandapaya’ where 40 festooned pillars made of stone. The Buddha statue plus 24 previous Buddha statues guarded by the Makara thorana should be worshipped peacefully. But the moonstone, two balustrades, Makara thorana made on the way to the Buddha image house is so unique. Whereas the temple is built on a rocky outcrop a decorous atmosphere is offered to the devotees and the tourists. Murals, paintings, frescoes and sculptures adorned with vivid colors can be explored all day long. At the same time God Vishnu, ganapathi, saman, Vibishana and Kumara bandara can be worshipped in the Lankathilaka viharaya. God Kumara bandara is believed to be the assigned caretaker of the viharaya.

Local devotees visit the viharaya and worship the dagoba, sacred bo tree and the Buddha sri pathula (a large stone image of the lord Buddha’s footprint). The Lankatilake rock inscription cut into the rock proclaims the initiators of the temple and the support and conveniences provided by the kings.

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