8°24'20.6"N 80°29'12.6"E

දොරමඩලාව රජමහා විහාරය

Doramadalawa Rajamaha Viharaya

Doramadalawa Rajamaha Viharaya

Doramadalawa Rajamaha Viharaya

Doramadalawa Rajamaha Viharaya is an ancient cave temple that dates back 2000 years. The temple itself is made out of numerous drip ledge caves. A large rock inscription, well-protected by the Department of Archaeology, appears on the rock face. The temple's cave image house is the longest in Sri Lanka. Nearby, there is an ancient sanctuary dedicated to the deity 'Vishnu.' The statue of Vishnu is made out of red sandalwood. 


But, the village where the temple stands is part of a legendary tale, something that could be out of the Game of Thrones world. According to 'Mahawansa' (Great Chronicles), Doramadalawa was once the seat of a royal family. The King Panduwasdeva (504-474 BC) had ten male children and one girl. The girl, who possessed great beauty, was called 'Chitra (picture)'. Much later, she was called Unamda (maddening) Chitra for her extraordinary beauty, which drove men to distraction. The King however, chose to keep his beautiful daughter captive in a tower after he heard a prophecy. This prophecy dictated that one day, a male child born to Unmada Chithra would kill her uncles and claim the throne. 


Hence, her father kept her locked in a heavily guarded tower with only a single entrance. But, despite the precautions, her cousin infiltrated the tower. The two fell in love, and she bore a child who was called 'Pandukhabaya.' 


Chitra managed to sneak her newborn son out of the tower before her uncles found him. One of the princess's maids took the infant away to "Dvaramandalaka" village called Doramadalawa today. 


The prince grew up in Dvaramandalaka, surviving three attempted assassinations by his uncles.  And when he turned 17, in the true sense of self-fulfilling prophecies, he killed all his uncles but one. Prince Pandukabhaya (437 BC) was a much admired, powerful ruler. He was the first king of Anuradhapura, an ancient, glorious city. 


The site consists of  four drip ledged rock caves with Brahmi characters and a rock inscription within the precincts of the Doramadalawa Rajamaha Vihare, situated within the Grama Niladhari Division

of 587-Doramadalawa in Mihintale Divisional Secretary’s Division of Anuradhapura District, North Central Province.


The site was designated as an Archaeological Protected Monument by The Gazette of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. 1586. 23 January 2009.

References & External Links

  • Wikipedia - Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 3.0 Unported License (CC-BY-SA)

  • "Protercted Monument List 2012-12-12" (PDF). Department of Archaeology. 12 December 2012. Retrieved 13 December 2016.

  • The Upcountry Repository of Buddhist Art - The Tampita Vihara of Sri Lanka' - G.R Disanayake

  • Temple on pillars: A study of the Tämpita Vihāras in the Kurunegala District - University of Kelaniya - Sri Lanka

  • Tempita Vihara - Wikipedia

  • Sri Lankawe Tampita Vihara By KUSUMASIRI VIJAYAWARDANA

  • "Protercted Monument List 2012-12-12" (PDF). Department of Archaeology. 12 December 2012. Retrieved 13 December 2016.

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