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Home > Heritage > Kandy > Niyamgampaya Viharaya

Niyamgampaya Viharaya - Gampola

This temple is situated at Mariyawattha on the road from Gampola to Nawalapitiya. The origin of the temple is not very clear but according to historical documents it can be assumed that this temple has been in existence since the early Christian Era.

The chronicle Chulavamsa calls this temple as "Niyamgamprasada" and the Nampota calls this the "Niyamgampaya Stanaya". It is said in the great chronicle Mahavamsa that the King Surathissa (187-177 BC) built a temple on the banks of the Mahaweli River. Chulavamsa records that Vijayabahu IV (1270-1272) carried out renovations on this temple on his way back form the Sri Pada. An inscription dated 1373 AD records that a person called Jayamahale Sitana renovated and granted land and constructed a monastery building for monks by his name. The same inscription records that this temple was used as a dwelling place for the monks for the last 485 years, taking temple back to 888 AD.

The "Sinhala Dalada Vamsaya" and 18th century work says that the Sacred Tooth Relic of Buddha was housed in this temple during the reign of Parakramabahu V (1344-1359) of Dedigama and Vickramabahu II (1357-1374) of Gampola. The Shrine has been a two storied building built with stone pillars.

Today none of this historical buildings remains in this temple. In the main shrine room the plinth molding of the old structure are noticeable with bas reliefs representing musicians, drummers, dancers, animals and lotus designs. The door frame is made out of stone. The valuable Buddha image which was here has been stolen in 1907.

Source : "Kandy"
By Central Cultural Fund

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Created July 15, 2007
Updated July 15, 2007
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