Mahiyangana Raja Maha Viharaya - Sri Lanka

Historic Mahiyangana Temple

Mahiyanganaya is a historical site revered by the Buddhist people of Sri Lanka.  It is a place where the feet of Gautama Buddha were touched.  This temple is located in a wonderful environment with the comfort of the Mahaweli River.  The Mahiyangana Dagoba and Vihara, which glow in white, are a delight to the eyes of the people.  The name Mahiyanglana was originally derived from the word Mahi going to the ground and the courtyard going to the plain.

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Historic Mahiyangana Temple

Mahiyangana Viharaya History

Mahiyaganaya in the Badulla District of the Uva Province was a holy land for the Buddhists as it was blessed by Lord Buddha.  According to the Mahavamsa, on the ninth full moon day of enlightenment, on the full moon Poya day, he came to this sacred place.  The genealogy states that the demons were subdued during this journey.  The original settlers of Ceylon were the Yaksha and Naga tribes.  After hearing his teachings, Maha Saman, who had attained the Sovan fruit, asked the Buddha for a sacred object.  Then he rubbed his head and brought him a handful of hair.  It is said that he accepted it with a gold casket and placed it on numerous pedestals and made a pillar of the tall Indunil Minimuwa where the relics of the Buddha resided.

Historic Mahiyangana Temple

When the body was cremated after the Parinirvana of the Buddha, the undissolved relic of Shiva was brought to Sri Lanka by Arahant Sarabhu and deposited in the Mahiyangana Dagaba.  Therefore, its sanctity increases even more.  The right eye relic is deposited here.

Paintings and significance

coloured rocks were brought from the Himalayas and the original women were made up to sixteen and a half cubits high.  Mahiyagana has been revered ever since.

Historic Mahiyangana Temple Paintings and significance

With the arrival of Mihinduhimi in Lanka in the 3rd century, the Sasana revival in the country began to shine.  Prince Uddha Chulaba Mahiyangana made thirty-six feet high black stones.  Twenty-two fruiting Bodhi saplings of the Sri Maha Bodhi have been planted here.

Mahiyangana Temple Development and Renovation

The Mahiyangana Vihara flourished during the reign of King Dutugemunu who came to power during the Anuradhapura Kingdom.  Prince Dutu Gemunu destroyed the Tamil forts there at that time and renovated the area around this temple.The whole country has been reunited and this six has been built to a height of eighty cubits.  Since then many rulers of Anuradhapura have patronized this sacred place.  King Parakumbha VI, who last united Sri Lanka, has renovated this temple.  However, after the arrival of the Western nations in 1505 AD, the temple was badly damaged by the Portuguese and the Dutch.  King Wimaladharma Suriya II, who came to power in the upcountry, restored the Mahiyangana temple which was destroyed in 1707 and installed a golden tower.  The site was revived in 1851.

Mahiyangana Vihara Chethya Garbhaya

Today, archaeologists have unearthed relics of King Gemunu at this site.  Paintings have been found in the nave of the Chethya here.  The paintings in the womb showcase the talents of ancient painters.  Events related to the character of the Buddha were the basis for the drawing.

Mahiyangana Vihara

 Of these, the presence of Bo Mada Vidurasuna is the most prominent.  This art tradition belongs to the first Vijayabahu period of the Polonnaruwa period.  There is no evidence that there was a Buddha statue house near the Mahiyangana Seya.  Not many old ruins were found in the courtyard. Mahiyangana can be considered a historical heritage site which is highly revered by the Buddhist people. 

Devalaya in Mahiyangana Temple

Devalaya in Mahiyangana Temple

There is an old temple near Seya.  Its origin is unknown. Since there is no belief in God among the Buddhists, it can be concluded that it was built under the influence of Mahayana.  King Rajasinghe II ordered the temple to hold an annual procession with two silver torches and offerings.  The temple has a statue of Saman Devi and a large statue of Goddess Devi.  There are also statues of black deities.  The present temple is a newly built one.


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