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Gadaladeniya Raja Maha Viharaya

The Gadaladeniya Vihara is an ancient temple that is situated in Pilimithalawa, Kandy, Sri Lanka.  The temple’s history can be traced back to the 14th Century. Historical archives reports state that this temple was constructed in 1344 by King Bhuvenekabahu IV. The temple depicts Hindu art by a South Indian architect named Ganesvarachari.  The temple’s constructions are depicted on a rock outcrop, above which this temple stands, by engraved inscriptions.  It is obvious that this temple came about employing the Dravidian Architectural Style, which encompasses Sinhalese architecture from the Polonnaruwa period and Indo-Chinese architectural designs.

It its final stages the temple was an abandoned area until King Weera Parakrama Narendra Singha gave it over to Weliwita Sri Saranankara Thero, who pupils took over the upkeep and wellbeing of the temple over the years.

The Main Shrine has a unique feature in that the central temple is built entirely of sculptured granite. However, the two Shikharas that adorn a massive stone slab are built of normal brick.The Shikharas give a dagabo shape and is positioned above the Sanctum.  Following the original construction of the vihara, may be sometime in the 18th or 19th century, a multi-tired and tiled Sinhala roof was included, which hid the flat roof and the Shikharas.

The Dragon’s Arch or Makara Thorana adorns the entrance to the Shrine Room and is designed with the images of Brahma, Sakra, Santusita, Saman, Santhusithika, Natha and Maitreya. The posture of meditation of the Buddha is evident in the 8 foot statue of Lord Buddha in a Dhyana Mudra post, with standing statutes on either side of it.

The secondary shrine exists in the middle of the temple area, the Vijayothpaya or Vijayantha Prasada titled after the mythical palace of god Indra. This shrine was built after the main shrine was completed. The shrine encompasses a central stupa, which is 40 feet in height and constructed on a square base. The Gadaladeniiya Vihara is indeed a masterpiece of artwork of the bygone eras when there were no modern technology available, but still it stands imposing to this present day.