Malwatu Maha Viharaya

Historical place | Temple | Kandy

Malwatu Maha Viharaya

Malwatu maha viharaya is another reckoned tourism spot enriched with religious and Sinhala architecture. Never the less it is one of the major Buddhist monasteries of two nikayas (orders) of ‘Theravada’ Buddhism in Sri lanka. Malwatte maha viharaya and the Asgiri maha viharaya are the responsible parties of the sacred tooth relic in Kandy.

The Malwatte viharaya is situated across the lake from the Dalada maligawa. While the viharaya belongs to the Siyam maha Nikaya is constituted of two sections. In detail they are Uposatha viharaya (Poyamalu viharaya) and the Pushparama viharaya (Malwatu viharaya).

Poyamalu viharaya was built by king Senasammatha vikramabahu who ruled the Senkadagala kingdom during 1473-1511 A.D. In fact some believes that the Asgiri maha viharaya is also constructed by the king. However he built 86 monasteries for the bhikku in Sri lanka. The Poya geya was initiated to build by King Kirthi Sri Rajasingha. Thus the Malwatu had only three main dwelling places to be accommodated. They are Meda pansala, Thibbatuwawe pasala and the Sangaraja pansala.

The Sangaraja pansala is currently used to exhibit the personal equipments and tools used by the Velivita Sri Saranankara Sangaraja thero. A large alms bowl made in Siamese is exhibited. It is evident that the monk had a broader knowledge, in addition to the alphabet written in six languages. A fan gifted to the Velivita sri Saranakara sangaraja thero with the declaration, ‘from today I appoint you as the Sanga nayaka thero of the tri sinhala’. Further so many witnesses of proving that the reigned kings of the era had many contacts with the Siamese were preserved. The Royal palanquin or the ‘Dolawa’ is another recherché item of the Malwatu viharaya.

Usually these Palanquins were used by the Royal families and the monks. It seems to be quite comfortable like a cushioned car. It had to be carried by 6 strong men. Jataka stories (Pansiya panas jathaka pota) and pirith writings exaggerated by the thero are conserved in the museum. So whenever you visit the world heritage site Kandy, make sure to visit the Malwatte maha viharaya. Malwatte maha vihara also houses to some ancient inscriptions on gold threaded robes. You can explore the traditions, customs and life styles of the Kandyan era in the museum of the Malwatte maha vihara. Somehow the government has been capable to maintain this heritage for the travelers.

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