The Saddharmatilaka Vihara or Dharma Kirthi Viharaya, commonly known as the Temple of Gadaladeniya (Gadaladeniya Temple), is a historic viharaya situated in Pilimithalawa, Kandy. The history of this temple dates all the way back to the fourteenth century. According to historical records, this temple was constructed in 1344 by King Buwanekabahu IV, who also served as its creator. It is noteworthy to mention that Ganesvarachari, a South Indian architect, created the building of this ancient temple in accordance with Hindu creative styles. On a rock on the outcrop, one could view the intricate elements of the temple’s construction. Several learned monks, including Sangharaha Dharmakirthi II and Vimalakirti, had lived in the temple.
The temple contains a subsidiary shrine in addition to the main shrine. This temple stands out because its entire central section is made entirely of granite sculpture. A beautifully crafted Makara Thorana (Dragon’s Arch) adorns the shrine’s main entrance. Images of Brahma, Sakra, Santusita, Saman, Santhusthika, Natha, and Maitreya are adorning this Makara Thorana. An 8.0-foot statue of the Lord Buddha seated is present in this holy shrine room. According to Buddhist philosophy theories, the Lord Buddha’s initial enlightenment is connected to this position of a reflection. Four standing Buddha statues surround this one.
A Devale honoring the Hindu God Lord Vishnu is located next to the main shrine room on its northern side.
In the heart of the temple grounds sits the secondary shrine. King Parakramabahu V constructed this shrine after the main shrine. This shrine is made consisting of a central stupa that is around 40 feet high and built on a platform with four equal sides. A four-sided roof that is supported by four pillars covers the entire stupa.
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