Mulkirigala Raja Maha Vihara (also known as Mulgirigala Raja Maha Vihara) (Sinhala: මුල්කිරිගල රජමහා විහාරය) is an ancient Buddhist temple in Mulkirigala, Sri Lanka. It has been built on a 205 m (673 ft) high natural rock, surrounded with another four rocks known as Benagala, Kondagala, Bisogala and Seelawathiegala.LEARN MORE
Except its most common name Mulkirigala, the temple is also referred to as Mulgirigala, Muvathitigala, Muhudungiri and Dakkhina Vihara. As the temple has been constructed on a massive natural rock similar to Sigiriya, the site is known as Punchi Seegiriya (Little Sigiriya) by the locals.
As mentioned in the Bodhi Vamsa chronicle, one of the temples known as Giriba Viharaya is where one of the Bo saplings out of 32 saplings germinated from Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi is planted, which was currently identified as Mulkirigala temple. During the Polonnaruwa period this temple was known as Samuddagiri Viharaya, according to the Kamburupitiya Wanaratna Thero, who had read the stone inscription of the pond.
In the 18th century the Mulkirigala rock was called as Adam’s Berg by the Dutch. It is believed that Europeans confused Mulkirigala with the Sri Pada (Adam’s Peak) with the assumption that tombs of Adam and Eve were located here.
A large collection of paintings and sculptures belonging to the Kandyan Era can be seen in the caves and image houses in the Vihara premises. Most paintings depict the episodes from the life of the Gautama Buddha and Jataka stories, such as Vessantara, Telapatta and Shivi.
Period: 2nd-1st centuries BC, Script: Early Brahmi, Language: Old Sinhala
Period: 6th-7th centuries AD, Script: Transitional Brahmi, Language: Old Sinhala
Mulgirigala Archaeological Museum is a site museum located at Mulkirigala.
A large collection of paintings & sculptures of Kandyan Era can be seen in the caves.
The site consists of seven viharas and has been constructed within five compounds known as Siyambalamaluwa, lower vihara compound, Bomaluwa, Rajamaha vihara compound, and upper Vihara compound.
Siyambalamaluwa, which comprises the museum, lower temple and the rest house.
Raja Maha Viharaya, tombs, Seemamalakaya, Monastery and Paduma Rahath Viharaya.
Dethispala Bodhiya, attendant Bodhiya, Garandi Kapolla, Chaitya, bell tower, pond and horizon valley can be seen.
A rock inscription found in this compound reveals the ancient name of the temple as Muhundgiri Vihara.
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The newly built Samadhi Buddha Statue was opened by Hon. Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa on 4th July of 2020.