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Home > Heritage > Elamaldeniya Raja Maha Viharaya

Elamaldeniya Raja Maha Viharaya

The large reclining Buddha image at the cave temple

View of the stupa from the car park

Elamaldeniya Raja Maha Viharaya lies about 18km away from the Morawaka town and 8 km away from the Pitabeddara Town. The Temple built during the 2nd century BC is on a rocky hill isolated from human habitation is attributed to King Saddhatissa ( 137-119 BC ) of the Anuradhapura Era.

Once you park at the vihara premises you can see the chethiya (stupa) far away on another mountain top. From here it is a climbing down to the foot of the mountain and then climbing the next hill. The steps are made out of granite and has been well laid.

Climb down to the water stream - over 200 steps

Water stream at the bottom

Steps from the stream towards the Image house

The bell tower at the top of the stairs

To reach the bottom for the hill you need to climb down over 200 steps. At the bottom is a refreshing water stream. Walking across the stream, the climb begins. The ancient image house is about another 200 steps above this hill. The image house is a cave temple built on a natural rocky platform. A large reclining Buddha statue in this cave shows the Buddha in the state of parinibbana. All the statues in the cave has been covered by a large transparent glass.

Images in the Cave Image house

The rock temple Image house
The Image house and the Devale for the Rajjuru Bandara Deviyo

One one side of the main image hall is a Devale for the Deitie"Rajjuru Bandara". He is the most worshipped Deitie in this area. Most of the people who come to this temple from this area seems to be making the journey to visit the Devale rather than the image house.

The ancient rock door frame

Steps from the image house to the stupa

The climb back towards the water stream

Climbing up towards the car park

On one side of the platform is a water drip coming from the rock itself. This is collected in a small tank. The image house in the cave has been recently renovated. But for the entrance the ancient granite door frames has been used.

The natural ledge above the man made ledge

Water from the rock

Above the cave temple roof is a drip ledge to stop water coming in to the temple. But above this man main drip ledge is a larger natural ledge created by two huge boulders sitting on one another.

From the Devale there is another flight of steps going up to the stupa

How to get there

Pitabeddara town lies between Akuressa and Morawaka on the Akuressa - Deniyaya Road.


Home > Heritage > Elamaldeniya Raja Maha Viharaya

Updated February 18, 2007
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