The archaeological and historical heritage of DANTURE RAJAMAHA VIHARAYA -YATI NUWARA



Turning from Pilimatalawa town of Colombo-Kandy road, when travel about 4 km, Danture village is found. Danture is well, known as it is the place where the complete annihilation of Portuguese had been occurred by the Kandyan forces initiated with Konappu Bandara in 1594. Rajamaha Viharaya is situated before entering the shopping complex to the left at Danture, by the highway. Just after the gateway is the image house. Because of adding various parts to the old image house the one visible today is completely changed. These constructions are double storeyed and can be entered from the south and the east. The roof too, has been built in two steped .But when it is examined carefully, according to the earlier plan, it was a square shape building and later added some parts at the back and built walls around.While it was a tam-pita vihara, the upper storey has been supported by the stone pillars from the ground floor. On the stone pillars around it, with mouldings there are carved sculptures of dancers, singers and creeping designs. At the edge of the hall, there is a long shrine. Inside it is mainly a recumbent image of Buddha. On either side there are another two standing images of Buddha. Connected to the front wall there is a devala with an image of god Vishnu. On the wall to the North, is another statue of a god. On side walls, figures of arahats are painted. Inside the front wall, figure of Giragama Diyawadana Nilame is painted. The door frame at the entrance of the chamber is made with carved stone. On either side, it has two guards bearing weapons and on side walls the paintings of Solosmasthana, can be seen but those pigments are very weak. To enter the upper floor, there is a small wooden stair case. Around the center, shrine at the upper floor is a path of circumambulate. The roof is supported by the wooden pillars and mid-walls. The wooden pillars in frontal porch are carved with rare carvings. There is only one entrance to the shrine, on either side has two figures of guards with swords in their hands. Inside the chamber under a makara torana there is an image of Buddha. By the side of it, there are two sedent images of Buddha. And also on side walls painted figures of god Saman and Vishnu could be seen. Two standing images of Buddha too are there. A large sculpture of Griagama Basnayake Nilame too is there. There were no any images of Buddha here by 1858.3 The images were built and the reconstructions were done by Giragama Basnayake Nilame. On the walls of the shrine, the suvisi vivarana of Buddha are painted. To the east of the image house is the avasage. All these constructions are built very recently. At the middle part of the 19th century there was no avasage but only a bodhi. Around the huge bodhi, a new wall be seen today. And to the north of it there is a modern stupa. In the inscription on the rocky-blank near the bodhi, the donations and there constructions done by Giragama Diyawadana Nilame are describes.

  • Danture, Sri Lanka

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