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Lankatilaka Vihara Temple

The temple on a rock

The Lankatilaka Vihara temple is considered as the most unique architectural masterpiece created during the Gampola era under the patronage of King Buwanekabahu IV. It is also known as the Blue Temple and is located in the village of Hiyarapitiya in the Udunuwara area of Kandy.

The history of the Lankatilaka temple dates back to the 14th century. According to historical records the temple was designed by a South Indian architect named Sathapati Rayar. A perfect blend of Sinhalese architecture of Polonnaruwa era and other Dravidian and Indo Chinese architectural patterns has been used in creating this magnificent historical masterpiece. The vihara has been built on Panhalgala Rock. The temple premises consist of the actual temple building, the Dagoba or Stupa and the Bo tree.

The architectural features and the traditional sinhalese sculptures of the image house are considered as outstanding characteristics of the Lankatilaka Vihara. The Lankatilake copper plaque reveals that this image house was constructed as eighty feet high four storied mansion. At present only 3 stories can be seen. The walls and the ceiling of the image house are decorated with Kandyan era paintings and sculptures. God Kumara bandara is believed to be the protector of the Lankatilaka vihara. There are two ways to reach the temple through flight of stairs. One is the original flight built in the 14th century and the other was built around 1913. The stairs had been created by cutting into the rock of Pahangala. The climb offers a magnificent view of the tree covered surroundings.

The Lankatilaka Temple is considered as one of the most architecturally advanced structures of the Gampola era. This beautiful cultural heritage sight is a must visit place in the cultural capital of Sri Lanka.

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