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 Post subject: Lankatilaka Raja Maha Viharaya close to Daulagala
 Post Posted: Sun Sep 04, 2005 11:36 pm 
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Lankatilaka Raja Maha Viharaya close to Daulagala

By D.B. Kappagoda

One of the interesting Buddhist places of worship is Lankatilaka Raja Maha Viharaya close to Daulagala which can be reached by road from Embilmeegama on the main Kandy Colombo Road . The shrine was built during the rule of King Bhuvanaikabahu IV who ruled from Gampola which was then known as Gangasiripura.

The architect who designed Lankatilaka Raja Maha Viharaya was Sthapathirayar from South India.

The building has undergone several stages of development. It was during the reign of the King of Kotte, Parakramabahu . VI ( 1412- 1467) that the stucco embellishments were carried out .

The murals were painted during the rule of King Kithisiri Rajasinha (1747-1780AC ) The noteworthy feature of the shrine is that it combines the worship of the Buddha and that of the Hindu deities .

Within the premises the Buddhist pilgrimage lies to the east while the Hindu devalaya is to the west. The building built with brick and stucco is positioned on the saddle of a dominant cliff.

Lankatilaka Raja Maha Viharaya as this shrine came to be known, is one of the best temples of Buddhist- Hindu worship within the precincts of the same edificebeing housed together. The architecture of the shrine is designed as an image house where Hindu deities were placed inside the niches at the centre of each of the outer walls and on the two sides of the front façade.

In the main image house the image of the Buddha is in a seated position.

There is a painted figure of a king who is believed to be King Kirthisri Rajasingha. The original building had been four storeyed according to the inscription found outside the shrine. Subsequently the masonry structure had collapsed. At present the ground floor remains and also part of the second storey remains .

The stairway leading to the second storey can be seen. The third storey is said to have had a recumbent image. The fourth storey had a stupa in which sacred books were kept. When the two floors collapsed the remaining building was roofed with a wooden canopy.

Lankatilaka Raja Maha Viharaya occupies an important place among the shrines built after the collapse of Polonnaruwa when it was subject to the onslaught of the invading Cholas.

The building with its architectural design and the figures painted on the walls and also the Buddha images remain unsurpassed in beauty and elegance.


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