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Sankapala Temple Udawalawe

Sankapala Raja Maha Viharaya is an ancient temple located near the 24th mile post on the Ratnapura - Embilipitiya main road in the Pallebedd...

Sankapala Temple Udawalawe


Sankapala Raja Maha Viharaya is an ancient temple located near the 24th mile post on the Ratnapura - Embilipitiya main road in the Pallebedda area in the Ratnapura district. The Sankapala Raja Maha Viharaya stands majestically on a rock as a sufficient proof to prove that this temple has been blessed by the enlightened monks who spent their time peacefully meditating.


The history of this temple goes back to the Anuradhapura era. During the reign of King Dutugemunu this temple was built by the giant Pussadeva. The Pussadeva giant was one of the ten great giants (Dasamahayodayo) who were given a village by the king after the war. That is the village of Pallebedda. Later the giant Pussadeva built a temple at Pallebedde and offered it to the Sankapala temple, the Buddha Sasana. This history is revealed by a stone pillar built in the temple.


Later in the Kandyan period a Buddhist monk named Karathota Dhammarama was offered with this temple. That was during the reign of King Rajadhi Rajasinghe. But due to a dispute between the king and the monk, the monk was arrested and placed under house arrest. At that time Ven. Karathota Dhammarama Thero wrote a cross poem (12 poems included in each poem) to show his intelligence. Later the king began to respect more and more monks and the king restored the village to the monks.


This temple has a Sathsati Vihara Mandir with two Buddha statues in a sitting posture and an ancient Buddha statue in a standing posture. All these statues bear a resemblance to the statues of the Kandyan period. Also, the paintings on the walls of the temple made of indigenous materials are similar to the Kandyan period.


In addition to the Sathsathi Vihara Mandir, there is another Devala room in the middle of the temple, which is called the 'Maha Vihara'. This temple room also has several statues of Buddha as well as two statues of God Kataragama and Lord Vishnu.


It is important to note the recent excavations carried out by the Department of Archeology on the Shree Sakapala Rajamaha Viharaya and the surrounding area. Steps have been taken to submit a report on the findings of 14 caves scattered around the Rajamaha Viharaya. These caves are numbered for ease of explanation purposes.


Sankapala Raja Maha Viharaya is a very popular tourist attraction and you can see the ruins of buildings, a Bo tree, a dagoba, a cave, a Pussa Deva tomb tower and many other ancient, historical and archeological sites.

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Udawalawe Safari Fun: Sankapala Temple Udawalawe
Sankapala Temple Udawalawe
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