Pathahawatte Rajamaha Viharaya
The Pathahawatte Rajamaha Viharaya is another pleasant drive away from the Horana town.
According to tradition, this temple was constructed by Prince Alagokkonara Alageshwara. It is also believed that this site was originally the palace of King Parakramabahu VI. According to an account in the Rajavaliya, King Sri Bhuvanekabahu and Prince Raigam Bandara had resided at this palace. After the death of Prince Raigam Bandara in 1539, his brother had removed all the treasures to Sitawaka.
This site which was covered by jungle had been cleared in 1889 by a monk -- the Ven. Narangaspitiya Sudassa Thera- and had been used as a temple thereafter. We were told that a huge parapet wall and pond conserved by the Dept. of Archaeology are at this site. When we reached the site it was almost noon.
There was no one around to ask where these sites were. A familiar Archaeological Department board stood in an overgrown area on a side of the temple. The board did not give a name, location or any other details. It was for us to decipher by carefully examining the overgrown and uneven land. Quite surprisingly the ancient wall we were looking for was the one we had driven past on approaching the temple. A closer look revealed an impressive, three foot wide, brick wall which seemed to form part of the front boundary wall of the temple. The ancient pond is located just behind this parapet wall and has to reached by walking through the temple grounds. This too was not so easy to find and could have easily been passed off as an overgrown ditch. Both the wall and the pond can only be identified if you are aware of their existence and look for them.
This Pathahawatte temple can be reached by travelling on the Kolamediriya road which branches off at the Kotalawala junction close to Bandaragama on the Horana Panadura road.
by Kishanie S. Fernando
August 12, 2006