Kirthi Sri Rajasinghe Rajamaha Vihara
- A Premier Buddhist Vihara in Rambukkana -
The Kirthi Sri Rajasinghe Rajamaha Vihara is a foremost Buddhist Vihara in Rambukkana. The Maha Pirivena at the Vihara provides education to monks and lay students. The Vihara is closely connected to the Buddhist renaissance of the Kandy period. The commencement of the Vihara is attributed to the Rev. Kadiragoda Medhankare, a member of the community led by Welivita Sri Saranankara Upali Thera who brought the practice of higher ordination from Siam and established the sima (limits for monastic rites) at this temple and granted higher ordination to 10 monks. There are many religious buildings within the precincts of this Vihara. The small shrine room the older of the two shrine rooms found in the premises was open and we made our way inside through its basement along a narrow and steep flight of wooden steps resembling a ladder. Upstairs the entrance door frame to the tiny shrine room was heavily carved in wood. The paintings on either side of the doorway and inside the shrine room were elaborate.
Another much larger shrine room was built on a higher and elevated ground. The stone carved doorway of this shrine is notable. Behind this building is a dagoba of historical significance. The Vihara received the patronage of King Kirthi Sri Rajasinghe (1747 -1782) and the paintings had been executed by the artists of the Degaldorawa in the Kandyan sittara tradition. It is said that a donation by King Kirthi Sri Rajasinghe of a padded cloth decorated with ancient motifs which was possibly intended to be used as a carpet measuring 5 ½' x 4 ½' is preserved in the temple.
This Vihara is situated in the village of Diyasunnata about 1 kilometre from the Rambukkana town on the Rambukkana- Mawanella road. An Archeology Department board marks the turn-off to the Vihara.
by Kishanie S. Fernando
February 3, 2007