Places of Interests

Varana Rajamaha Viharaya

Varana Rajamaha Viharaya


According to the archeological factors the history of Varana Rajamaha Viharaya runs to 3-2 century B.C. It is confirmed by the inscription in Brahmi characters found in the premises. In this temple there are many caves with drip ledges. Various constructions have come up in the Kotte period, Kandy period and at later times. This temple has three sections and the lower section of the rock is known as Diggala.

Article on Varana Rajamaha Viharaya by Kishanie S. Fernando
Daily Mirror, May 30, 2005

I wondered how the name Varana had come about to indicate this awesome rock scape, and was told that it appeared to be the combination of two members "va" and "arena". Va being a kind of tree not known to us today, and Arana evidently meant forest. Hence the meaning - forest of Va Trees. But typically and so delightfully this is only just one of the legends of the area.

Varana had first come into existence as a meditation centre for the Sangha and its origins date back to the time of King Devanampiya Tissa of Anuradhapura, during whose reign Arahat Mahinda visited Lanka to preach the Buddhist doctrine.

A stone inscription found here believed to be written in Asokan script reads that: This is donated to Tissa Dhatta Thero, the brother of Majjhima Thero. Tissa Dhatta Therro was the first pupil of the Venerable Mahinda.

It is of Varana again we hear, amongst many others, that King Valagamba chose to hide, when he was fleeing to escape the Cholan marauders.

It is believed that during his stay here he caused the construction of the drip ledges on every rock where there was a habitable cave. When King Valagamba regained the kingdom, in a gesture of gratitude, he built a shrine at every place that had given him sanctuary, and that included Varana.

As such it is believed that he placed a statue of the Buddha in the largest cave at Varana, and transformed it into a small shrine room. Again we hear of Varana during the reign of King Parakrama Bahu VI of Kotte.

It is said that he re decorated the Varana shrine adding the statue of God Vishnu, the statue of the Bodhisattva, statues of numerous Buddhas and the walls were painted depicting episodes from the Jathaka stories.

An eighteen-foot reclining statue of the Lord Buddha was constructed inside the main shrine room of the Varana temple. And it is said that the King and Queen came personally to offer the first flowers to the image.

The King also gifted by royal edict vast sprawling acres of highland and paddy fields for the maintenance of the Sangha. The venerable Kahambiliye Sendipperumere was given the incumbency of the Vihare.

During the distressing reign of King Rajasinghe of Sithawaka when Buddhist monks were persecuted the monks at Varana like everywhere else fell on bad times and had to flee their abode, until once again in the reign of King Kirthi Sri Rajasinghe of Kandy, when we hear of the Varana temple.

Varana is also famous for its historical association with treasure buried in its precincts, and many are the stories that are related of it.

Varana today is a stunning rock gallery set in the splendor of the Siyane Korale, a place of worship, a setting of tranquility, a feast to the eye and a buffet for the photographer in you.

Varana Rajamaha Viharaya is situated 9.4 Km from Comilla Bungalow.

Pilikutthuwa Rajamaha Viharaya

Pilikutthuwa Rajamaha Viharaya


Inscriptions from the pre brahmi characters prove that Pilikutthuwa Rajamaha Viharaya existed as a religious place from pre B.C period. This temple has 99 caves with drip ledges , tank, underground water ways, natural watadageya , old wooden bridge and paintings of the Kandyan period.

Pilikutthuwa Rajamaha Viharaya is a very important and sacred place which is located on a relic mountain in Gampaha district. During the time of 1st -3rd century BC , a person named Aggibhuta offered this temple with 99 caves to the Buddhist monks. The recorded temple with highest number of caves is Pilikuththuwa Raja Maha Viharaya. Another special feature of this temple is the timber bridge with Dutch architecture. Source: www.urbanmin.gov.lk

Pilikutthuwa Rajamaha Viharaya is situated 7.2 Km from Comilla Bungalow.

 

 

Maligathanne Temple

Maligathanne Temple


During Sri Lanka’s reign of nearly 150 monarchs, the Sacred Tooth Relic had to undergo many a travail taking refuge in numerous secret places to ensure its safety from invaders for it is said that whoever possessed the Tooth Relic had the divine power to govern the country ( Witane.G,)

Situated on top of a rock that is considered the tallest point in the District of Colombo, Maligathanne has been refuge to the sacred tooth relic, which was safeguarded from foreign invasions. King Valagamba built Maligathanne with safety and security given uppermost consideration, with a 2- tiered rock offering visibility and passage to the top.

“In ancient days, there were religious rivalries to possess the Sacred Tooth Relic as it was the Royal Palladium of the kings. But in Kalinga ,the Brahamins raised protests against this "Idol worship" as they called it and waged war with king Guhasiva to capture it with the sole purpose of destroying it. In this war, the king was killed. Thereupon, prince Datta, a Brahamin, along with his wife princess Hemamala, arrived in Lanka across the seas carrying with them the Sacred Tooth Relic in 371 AD and handed it over to the king who ruled Anuradhapura. The king enshrined it in a pure crystal bowl and placed it Abayagiri Vihara embellished with costly jewels for public worship. The Sacred Tooth was never enshrined in a dagoba unlike other relics but always remained movable revered object devoutly venerated by the Buddhists all over”

( Witane.G, Kandy the Final abode of the Sacred Tooth Relic, www.infolanka.com/org/srilanka/hist/82.htm)

Maligathanne temple is situated 7.2 Km from Comilla Bungalow.