Gadaladeniya temple or viharaya is an old monastery built on top of a rock in Pilimatalawa in Kandy district of Sri Lanka. The temple was built during the era of King Buwanekabaghu IV in 1344 AD. Gadaladeniya viharaya was built with the influence of South Indian architecture and done by architect Ganesvarachchari.
Temple is also known as Saddharmatilaka Vihara or Dharma Kirthi Viharaya. You can reach to the temple through Gadaladeniya road (B116) and is approximately 12.5 Kms to the west of the Kandy City. And located closely to the Lankathilaka viharaya.
The history of the temple goes back to the 14th century. According to historical reports this temple was built in 1344, under the patronage of King Bhuvanekabahu IV, who reigned from 1341 to 1351 A. D., by the Ven. Seelavamsa Dharmakirti. The architecture of the temple was designed following Hindu artistic styles by, Ganesvarachari, a South Indian architect. On the rock outcrop, upon which the temple stands, is a carved inscription regarding the temple’s construction. The temple was constructed in the Dravidian architectural style incorporating Sinhalese architecture from the Polonnaruwa era and other Indo Chinese architectural patterns.
Celebrated scholarly monks who have resided at the temple include Sangharaja Dharmakirti II, the author of the Sangharaja-Nikāya (14-15th century) and Vimalakirti I.
The temple was abandoned until King Vira Parakrama Narendra Sinha (1707-1739) handed over it to Weliwita Sri Saranankara Thero, who’s pupils have looked after the temple ever since.
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