Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Lankathilaka Viharaya, Kandy


The Lankathilaka temple, situated on the outskirts of Kandy, is one of the finest examples of Sinhalese temple architecture. More info and images inside.


The temple was completed in 1334 by king Buwanekabahu IV, who had chosen Gampola as his kingdom. The five kings who ruled from Gampola made significant contributions to art and culture. The Gadaladeniya and Embekke temples, which will be covered in future posts, are also from this period.


The Image house contains devales to the four guardian deities of the island, each with his consort. A Pali inscription can be found on the rock which the temple is built on and it is supposed to be a record of the valuable gifts given to craftsman who worked on the temple. The exterior of the image house is decorated with sculpted elephants and other decorative designs.

The arched passage of the image house leads into an inner sanctum which is decorated with floral designs. The two side walls and the ceiling are covered with paintings and the inner sanctum contains a huge statue of the seated Buddha under a "Makara Thorana". I was unable to go into the image house as the priest was not around and the image house was locked. However, I was able to take a few shots of the artwork that decorated the main door to the image house.



The shot below shows the wooden carvings found on one of the windows.

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Chris said...

That is a wonderful building.. How old is it?

Dev Wijewardane said...

Thanks Chris, it was built in the 14th century.

holdingmoments said...

What an amazing temple. It's hard to imagine the ammount of work that went into its construction all those years ago.

Dev Wijewardane said...

Thanks for the comment Keith. There are a number of much older temples. I'll post a few more in the near future.