The archaeological and historical heritage of GADALADENIYA RAJAMAHA VIHARAYA -YATINUWARA


Gadaladeniya Raja maha viharaya has got great attention from historian, archaeologist   artist and sacred  Buddhist.It is situated on beautiful rock near two large nuga trees on the way to Dawulugala, away  from  half kilometer to 65th  mile stump .Kept on Pilimathalawa town.Which could be passed Colombo kandy road.


Creation Time


It is identified as a largest stone temple in Sri Lanka  and a greatest creation belong to  upcountry.It was built by Dharmakeerthi thero on king fourth Buvanekabahu’s  reign.It is mentioned on  the  Gadaladeniya  inscription.There were  two largest and attractive temples on  Gampola  kingdom.Gadaladeniya  and  Lankathilaka   are       the only temples made at these period.According to shapes of them anyone could thought they were closed to hindhu and Buddhist culture.Gadaladeniya  temple is built according to hindhu architecture.It is memorized hindhu siva fane and highly equal  to hindhu fane made by king Wijaya nagara who was the ruler south India after Pandayan.Polonnaruwa siva fane and  its siva fane are same in architecture.


Main  Temple palace

It  was created in carved granite It is insisted with two room and  outside pavilion.Two rooms are on  one behind  the other.When the entrance of outside pavilion first can be seen a half circuled moonstone.There was no pictures of animals only could  see a boarder and a blossomed lotus.Then there is a way with four stairs.Inside the edges attractive drames were carved.They  were consisted with dramatic,recitatist carvings.There are two animal pictures which grave shaped in both sides of this way.It has elephant’s head and lion’s body.So it called as  ‘’Gajasingha’’ picture.There is a fact it shows the prosperity of a nation.Some parts had been broken  because of  attacks  by  antagonists.Huge two stone towers are used doorframe in this building.Another two small towers are connect to main tower .So it is identified as ‘’Third Towers’’It has more beautiful carvings and  expanding artistic’s talent and mental continence of stone carpenter.The main tower set  quadrately  and others  head were consisted with  sharp edges of pillar caps


The towers carvings  are started  lions of  plank.There are pictures of lions on head .They are decorate with vase lotus.The pillar caps is consisted with upside down baby lotus with coil boarder.The  carvings of both towels are not equal.In popularity two carpenters made them.



Antharalaya is met after the outside pavilion.A hindhu fame is in one side.The Vishnu fane is identified as  ‘’Devrugeya’’ in Dharmakeerthi thero’s  inscription.It is called as Upulvan devol.It is located west to main temple place.There are a bodhi  house and a  antharalaya,There  is a building face to east and  could enter a small stair It is called Diggeya.       


Middle Door

A  large door is used to enter from  antharalaya to bodhihouse.It has two parts and  made by jak timber, and valuable arts,pictures were drawn on these.It consists two door shutters.One shutter sets for five panel.


Sun,lotus,bird,Narilatha flower and  another were painted.Decorate motif and palapethi pattern on woods These paintings were designed  yellow colour on the red background.Black,green and white colours were used simply.


Garbha House


There was a samdhi image under a dragon pandal  which made by granite, shaped in plaster and painted with various boarders.The specialization of this statue is not having calm mood.It has glorious shape.and is is caused to hindhu religious affect in Gampola era.The robe of it is shaped waves of river.Open eyes were put so that the person who was in front of image could think image looks for him.


Wijoyothpaya Cairn

Wijayothpaya means waijayantha mansion.It is another name for god of sacra’s palace.It is belived that the god’s palace was over the heaven and human world.So that the  cairn was built on a high foundation.Other four cairn were built in four sides to typicall four gods.The height of this cairn is 40 feet and built built on rock in front of viharageya.Today  it is shined  as such as past..It is clear that a house  which king fifth parakramabahu made on high towers consist with a roof gave secure to crain.Some one identifies that house as a watadageya.Some one says it may be a chethiyagaraya.


Bodhi Tree


The  Bodhiya is as old as viharaya.It is sacred and admirable.It is located on the rock where the viharaya was kept It was  secured by the valuable granite wall.Majority of inscriptions of Gadaladeniya were on therock near bo tree.This was nascent of Ananda Bodhiya which in near Devram  vehera  at Dambadiva.It was brought first Dharmakeerthi thero.The buildings of uposathagaraya and  monastery were reconstructed but old faces were not changed.

  • Gadaladeniya, Sri Lanka

Places Nearby

    • Road -RDA museum
      Road -RDA museum
    • Gadaladeniya
    • gadaladeniya pond
      gadaladeniya pond