Bless Thanthirimale Temple – archeologically important
Quiet nature environment
Thanthirimale Sacred Temple
Bless Thanthirimale Temple – archeologically important
Quiet nature environment
Thanthirimale Sacred Temple
Bless Thanthirimale Temple – archeologically important
Quiet nature environment
Thanthirimale Sacred Temple

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Getting There

Thanthirimale monastery could be reached by two ways. The first is through Anuradhapura-Mahavillachchiya road. Going along the Anuradhapura Mahawilachchiya road 18 Km take the Sri Wimalagnana road and r travelling 18 km you could reach Tanthirimale Raja Maha Viharaya. The second road is on the Madavachchiya-Mannar road. Going along the Madavachchiya-Mannar road 18 Km turn left from Gajasingha Pura travel 12 Km and reach Tanthirimale Raja Maha Viharaya. In this way you will cross Malawatu Oya.

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Thanthirimale Raja Maha Viharaya

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Bo tree

Bhikkuni Sangamiththa and the escort had rested here for one night during the sacred journey of bringing the Sri Maha Bodhi to Anuradhapura. The Malwathu Oya flows across this village and the road of possession Sri Maha Bodhi bringing had lie along the valley of the Malwathu Oya. The chief was in this village, Thiwakka Bamunugama has gone with his followers to the Malwathu Oya valley to receive Sri Maha Bodhi bringing procession. The area was cleared and cleaned to receive the procession and the whole area was covered with a layer of white sand. Bhikkuni Sangamittha and her followers had rest one night at this place. Chronicler of Mahawansa states that by virtue of devotion King Devanampiyatissa and his followers had eight Bodhi saplings had emerged from the fruits of the sacred Bodhi and one of them was later presented by the king to be planted at Thanthirimale. The Bo tree planted in that manner is standing at the Raja Maha Viharaya rich with foliage
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Samadhi Buddha Statue

The Samadhi statue carved from the large rocks and established near the Bodhi shows characteristics of the late Anuradhapura period. Standing eight feet high, the statue has an unfinished look about it and the two rows of unfinished and uncarved outlines of Buddha statues by the sides of the main statue confirm the fact that the statue was built in the last age of Anuradhapura prior to the invasion of Kalinga-Maga. The Buddha statue is decorated by an arch known as ‘makara Thorana’ borne by two lions. Two deities are carved in two sides of the higher ends of the arch. The roof and its stone pillars had given away centuries back exposing the statues to sun and rain but the worst damage had been done by treasure hunters.
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Reclining Buddha Statue

Reclining In the northern slope of the rock is carved the reclining Buddha statue that is 45 feet long. The Kalinga-Maga invasion seemed to have kept the artist in check since he had left the statue without giving it the elegant shape it deserves. The invasion created a great migration from Anuradhapura to Polonnaruwa and left many a great monastery and palace abandoned to the forest.
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Pothgula

The monastery library it is called ‘Pothgula’is situated on a high rock. The 12 Padhanagara structures are the only buildings within the monastery site. It is spresd over 250 acres the Padanagaras served as meditation or living areas for meditating monks. They were surrounded by water and were also used for ‘Pohoyakarma’ or punitive rituals

History of Thanthirimale

Thanthirimale has a long history running back to the period of Buddhism was introduced to Sri Lanka by Arahant Mahinda Maha Thera when king Devanampiyatissa ruled the country in 3rd century BC. The emperor Dharmasoka of Dambadiva –India had done everything possible for the sake of his friend and his counterpart in Sri Lanka, King Devanampiyatissa who also had sought solace in Buddhism. The emperor Dharmasoka sent a delegation led by his own son, Arahant Mahinda Maha Thera to establish Buddhism in Sri Lanka. After establishing Buddhism in Sri Lanka Arahant Mahinda Thera invited his sister Sangamiththa to come Sri Lanka to establish the Bikkuni society as non-availability of nuns. The Sangamiththa Thera came to Sri Lanka bringing a branch of Bodhi tree where Buddha reached enlightenment. Arahant Theri and her followers had disembarked at port Dambakolapatuna about three miles away from Kankasanthurai as archaeologists suspect.

According to Mahawansa King Devanampiyatissa had stepped in to the sea and proceeded until the water reached his neck when he saw the Sri Maha Bodhi being brought. He received Sri Maha Bodhi on his head after being brought to the shore. He had placed the Sri Maha Bodhi in a chariot and the ceremonial procession started early in the morning and the people had gathered on the road side to worship the Sri Maha Bodhi. According to chronicle Mahawansa Thanthirimale was one of the important halting places of the procession bringing the Sri Maha Bodhi. Bhikkuni Sangamiththa and the escort had rested here for one night during the sacred journey of bringing the Sri Maha Bodhi to Anuradhapura. This place in the village of Brahmin Thiwakka was cleared and cleaned to receive the procession and the whole area was covered with a layer of white sand. The village of Brahmin Thiwakka as described in Mahawansa was an extremely pleasant place similar to Isipathana “Rishis Descend” the grove in Benares where Buddha first preached His monks. Chronicler of Mahawansa states that by virtue of devotion King Devanampiyatissa and his followers had eight Bodhi saplings had emerged from the fruits of the sacred Bodhi and one of them was later presented by the king to be planted at Thanthirimale. The Bo tree planted in that manner is standing at the Raja Maha Viharaya rich with foliage.

Thanthirimle has been called ‘Thivanka Bamunu Gama’ during the reign of King Devanampiyathissa. When Prince Vijaya arrived Thambapanni (ancient Sri Lanka), he had advised his followers to establish settlements in different areas. According to his advices one minister called ‘Upathisssa’ has established settlement in this area. Thus, this area was once called Upathissa Gama/ Upathissa Grama.

According to folklore, Saliya, son of the king Dutugemunu, who was expelled from the royal family for the reason of marrying Ashokamala, a girl from a lower caste, lived in Thanthirimale for years. Eventually, young couple was forgiven and restored to the king's good graces. Then, the king had given them a golden necklace having a shape of a butterfly known as Thanthiri. It is believed the name Thanthirimale was derived in relation to that. This place was unidentified till the beginning of the 19th century, and in the 1960s the temple was reestablished by Ven.Kudakongaskada Wimalagnana Thero, who pioneered in restoring this place for worship for general public. Kudakongaskada Wimalagnana Thero was assacinated by terrorists in 1992 and thereafter Ven. Thanthirimale Chandarathana Thero became the incumbent. The temple and surrounding area are full of ruins, including two stone statues and several stone ponds. There is an archaeological museum at Thanthirimale.

Source-
1. Wikipedia- Thanthirimale
2. "Thanthirimale Rajamaha Viharaya". Amazing Lanka. 6 September 2009

Events & Reports

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ITN Savanak Res 2017

ITN Savanak Res 2017 progeanne will be held on poson poya day in Tanthirimale Rajamaha Vihara.
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Buddha Relics Exhibition

Buddha Relics Exhibition 2016

Documentary

Documentary

Documentary

Documentary

Chief Incumbent and his students

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Ven. Ehetuwewe Gnanaloka Thero

B.A (The Bhikshu University of Sri Lanka)
Voice: 071-7136474

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Ven. Karapikkada Sobitha Thero

B.A. (University of Kelaniya) Mphil (University of Kelaniya)
Royal Pandhit
Lecturer University of Bhikshu Sri Lanka
Voice: 071-8309243

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Chief Incumbent
Ven.Thanthirimale Chandrarathana Thero

Shasrthrapathi
Assistant Chief Sanganayake North & Eastern Province
Voice: +94-25-224-5047

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Ven.Paranahalmilleve Somananda Thero

Headmaster of Sri Sangamiththa Daham School
Voice: +94-25-224-5047

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Ven.Medaoyamaduwe Pangnasara Thero

B.A (The Pali and Buddhist University of Sri Lanka)
Voice: 071-1595553

Contact Us

Chief Incumbent

team-3

Assistant Chief Sanganayake North & Eastern Province,Shasrthrapathi,

Ven.Thanthirimale Chandrarathana Thero

TEL:+94-25-224-5047
Email: