Reswehera Temple

Reswehera Temple

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Description

Reswehera Raja Maha Viharaya is a beautiful temple that is frequently visited by a large number of devotees every year. The temple is located in the North-Western Province of Sri Lanka.

How to get there:-

  • Ras Vehera can be accessed through Galgamua.
  • Then turn to the Horagollagama Road.
  • From this road turn to Meegalawa Road. The site is about 15 km down this road.
  • The distance to Galgamuwa from Colombo is measured up to be around 160 Km and from Anuradhapura, it is about 45 Km.
  • You can also reach the site form Kurunegala Dambulla Road from Ibbagamuwa through Kumbukgataya, Polpithigama, and Moragollagama.

Historic background:-

  • Built by the great King Devanampiya Tissa, Reswehera Rajamaha Vihara is a historic temple located in the Northwestern Province in Sri Lanka.
  • It is widely known for its Gautama Buddha statues and the Bo tree which was planted from the sacred Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi.
  • One statue is carved in a rock while the others are inside the vihara.
  • There are ninety-nine caves in the surrounding jungle where clergymen used to meditate.
  • The statue carved from stone is a colossal statue of Buddha lying close to the well-known Awkana statue.

The specialty of the Reswehera statue:-

  • Folklore states that the Reswehera statue was built by the same craftsman who constructed the famous Awukana statue as a trial before starting on Awukana itself.
  • The statue is a massive reclined statue of Lord Buddha located in one of the houses.
  • The rock on which the Buddha is carved isn’t always embellished and is simplest a rectangular block of stone and one ear is likewise left unfinished.
  • Therefore, this statue is thought to be the “Rahera” statue which, according to chronicles, was constructed by King Mahasen.
  • However, it was left unfinished after his demise.
  • This statue also lacks the “Siraspatha” at the top that is seen in the Awkana statue.
  • It is said that there was a wooden “siraspatha” in the early days along with a housing shape across the statue for safety because the rock in which the statue is carved within is soft.
  • The statue is 39 feet long and has some unique features that are not found in other shrine caves.
  • It is possible to walk around it and the robe on the statue has been handwoven and pasted with a handwoven cotton thread being pasted all over to represent the waves of the gown. Then this has been plastered and painted.
  • The authentic thread and the robe are seen in places, especially at the rear area of the statue.
  • But not like the Awukana statue, the final finishes don’t seem to have been done on this statue.

Devastation:-

  • During the North Indian Tamil invasion of Kalinga Maga, all of this was destroyed.

Other significance:-

  • There is likewise a finely woven mattress donated by a timber craftsman in the reign of the King Rajasinghe era.
  • Reswehera Temple is a temple that shouldn’t be missed if you are eager to witness the beautiful Buddhist temples.

Photo courtesy : Onal Karunaratne

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