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Temple

Malwatu Maha Viharaya

  Province Central
  District Kandy
  Nearest Town Kandy
  Period 1473-1511
  Ruler King Senasammatha Vikramabahu

Introduction

Across the lake from the temple of the Tooth Relic, is situated one of the two great centres of the Sangha, belonging to the Siam Nikaya, known as Malwatu Maha Viharaya. This great monastery consists of 2 sections. The first is the Uposatha Viharaya on the right, popularly known as Poyamalu Viharaya and the other Pushparama Viharaya popularly known as Malwatu Viharaya which is seen today with a newly built octagon. Of these two complexes, the older is Poyamalu Viharaya, supposed to have been built by Senasammatha Vikramabahu with a two storeyed Uposathagaraya or Ordination Hall and a Caitya or a Dagaba close by. The Chronicle goes on to say that he further built by 86 monasteries for the use of the monks in the two fraternities namely, Malwatu and Asgiri Viharas. This account is further suppoted by Sulu Rajawaliya, Asgiri Talpata, and Pohoya Malu Upatha.

History

Near the shore of Kandy lake one of the great centres of the Buddhist monks, belonging to the Siam Nikaya, known as "Malwatu Maha Viharaya" is situated. This great monastery consists of two sections. The first is the "Uposatha Viharaya" (Ordination Hall) on the right, popularly known as "Poyamalu Viharaya" and the other "Pushparama Viharaya" popularly known as "Malwatu Viharaya" which is seen today with a newly built octagon.

The Poyamalu Viharaya as the oldest structure, supposed to have been built by Senasammatha Vikramabahu (1473-1511) in Senkadagala era. He further built 86 monasteries for the use of the monks in the two fraternities namely, Malwatu and Asgiri Viharas. This account is further supported by Sulu Rajawaliya, Asgiri Talpata, and Pohoya Malu Upatha.The poye-ge of the Malwatu Viharayais supposed to have been built during the reign of Kirti Sri Rajasinha (1747 - 1781) with a beautiful image of the Buddha installed there in.

It is believed that this temple initially had only three residences. One was "Sangaraja Pansala" dedicated for the great Velivita Sri Sarankara Thero. The "Thibbotuwawe Pansala" and the "Poyamalu Viharaya" was for the chief monk Thibbotuwawe thero and the "Meda Pansala" for Moratota who was the the "Raja Guru" or the Kings Teacher. The Sangaraja Pansala, today known as "Welivita Pansala" houses all the personal belongings that the great Velivita Sri Sarankara Sangharaja Thero used.Since the time of the Sangharaja, high priests specially those who are in the "Karaka Maha Sangha Sabha" or the executive council of monks reside there. The Maha Nayake is the chief incumbent of the monastery and he is one of the three guardians of the Tooth Relic.