ரிடி விஹாராயா கோவில்
ரித்தி விஹாராயா கோவில் கட்டப்பட்டது, அங்கு வெள்ளி தாது கண்டுபிடிக்கப்பட்டது, மன்னர் துதுக்கேமுனு தனது ஆட்சியில் அனுராதபுரத்தில் ருவான்வெளி தாகோபாவை உருவாக்க பயன்படுத்தப்பட்டது.
ரிடி விகாரா என்பது கலாச்சார முக்கோணத்தைக் குறிக்கும் முக்கியமான ராஜ மகா விகாரையாகும். இந்த மடாலய வளாகத்தின் வரலாற்றுத் தகவல்கள் பிராமண கல்வெட்டுகளில் எழுதப்பட்ட அற்புதமான குகைகளில் காணப்படுகின்றன. அவை கிமு 2 மற்றும் 3 ஆம் நூற்றாண்டுக்கு முந்தையவை. அரஹத் மஹிந்தவின் காலம் முழுவதும், பல அரஹத்தர்கள் இந்த குகைகளில் வசித்ததாகக் கருதப்படுகிறது, இது ரிடி விஹாரா மற்றும் ராம்பதகல்லாவின் அண்டை பகுதியில் சுமார் இருபத்தைந்து எண்ணிக்கையில் உள்ளது. இந்த குகைகள் பாறையில் செதுக்கப்பட்டு அந்த இடத்தின் தலைவர்களால் சங்கத்திற்கு வழங்கப்பட்டது.
History of Ridi Viharaya
Ridi Viharaya was constructed during the reign of Dutthagamani of Anuradhapura, a renowned Sinhalese king of ancient Sri Lanka. Dutthagamani, known for his victory over the Tamil prince Ellalan of the Chola Kingdom, initiated the construction of Ruwanwelisaya, a monumental stupa that stands tall today. The completion of Ruwanwelisaya required various materials, including silver.
During this time, a group of merchants travelling from the central highlands of Sri Lanka to Anuradhapura stumbled upon a jackfruit tree in the Ridigama area. As part of a ritual, they offered the fruit's first half to Buddhist monks. To their amazement, four Arhat monks appeared and accepted their offering. Then, four more monks arrived and did the same. After partaking in the jackfruit, the final monk, Arhat Indragupta, guided the merchants to a cave where silver ore was found.
Excited by the news, the merchants informed Dutthagamani upon reaching Anuradhapura. The silver ore they discovered provided the necessary material for completing Ruwanwelisaya. In gratitude for this significant finding, Dutthagamani built the Ridi Viharaya complex on the site of the silver ore. The construction involved 300 masons and 700 other workers, including the chief artisan Vishwakarma Prathiraja.
Location of Ridi Viharaya
Ridi Viharaya is located in Ridigama, approximately 18 kilometres northeast of Kurunegala. Kurunegala is located 94 kilometres northeast of Colombo, the capital of Sri Lanka. The temple can be found about 10 kilometres from Ibbagamuwa, along the A6 highway that connects Kurunegala and Dambulla.
The Temple Complex
Ridi Viharaya boasts a complex that houses approximately twenty-five caves. These caves have been considered the abode of Arhat monks since the arrival of Arahat Mahinda in the 3rd century BCE. Over time, the temple experienced periods of decline and revival. However, in the 18th century CE, the temple complex was revitalised during the reign of Kirti Sri Rajasinha of Kandy. Adding Uda Viharaya and connected devices such as Kumara Bandara Devalaya and Paththini Devalaya further enriched the temple.
Associated Buildings and Structures
Within the premises of Ridi Viharaya, several notable buildings and structures can be explored. One such structure is the Serasum Gala, a rock to the right of the entrance, believed to be the original site of the temple. It is said that Dutthagamani used to dress there before worshipping at the temple. On top of this rock, a small stupa can be found.
Another significant building is Waraka Welandu Viharaya, which dates back to the Polonnaruwa era. This building is associated with the merchants who offered jackfruit to the Arhat monks. The name "Waraka Welandu Viharaya" refers to the consumption of jackfruit. The building is constructed in stone and displays Kandyan-era paintings. Its stone roof is supported by intricately carved pillars featuring designs on all four sides, including depictions of female dancers influenced by Hindu art.
The Hevisi Mandapaya, situated in front of the Maha Viharaya, is a pavilion that contains a rice bowl and various historically significant objects. One notable item displayed here is a centuries-old Pallakkiya used to carry elderly monks.
Maha Viharaya, the main temple, is located inside the Rajatha Lena, a massive rock resembling the head of a cobra. This cave is believed to be the original site where the silver ore was discovered. The Maha Viharaya houses numerous Buddha statues, including a 9-meter recumbent Buddha and an ancient gold-plated Buddha statue from the Anuradhapura era. In addition, the temple's walls and roofs are adorned with intricate paintings.
Uda Viharaya, the upper temple, belongs to the Kandyan era. It contains a seated Buddha statue with a unique Makara Thorana and a semi-circular Sandakada pahana (moonstone). The Sandakada pahana is distinctive, featuring two dragons on either side of Lord Buddha's shoulders, unlike similar designs' more common triangular shape. In addition, the chamber of Uda Viharaya showcases paintings of mythological animals and the prominent character Ravana from the Ramayana. Adjacent to this temple is a Hindu deva laya dedicated to the protector god of the area.
Paintings and Sculpture
The cave walls of the Rajatha Lena are adorned with paintings depicting incidents from the life of Gautama Buddha. While some frescoes remain incomplete, their early sketches are still visible. The cave walls also feature small carved-out drains, known as "Kataram," designed to divert rainwater from the paintings.
A unique sculpture found within the Maha Viharaya is the Pancha Nari Ghataya. Initially appearing as a vase, it reveals five intertwined maiden figures upon closer observation. This intricate ivory carving is a remarkable example of craftsmanship. Two lion carvings made of ivory can also be observed on either side of the central sculpture.
The roof of the Maha Viharaya is supported by wooden pillars adorned with flower designs. Drawings of Sath Sathiya, depicting the seven weeks following Gautama Buddha's enlightenment, and Kandyan era symbols such as Nawanari Kunjaraya, Thri Sinha Rupaya, Vrushba Kunjaraya, and Sarpenda can be seen. The initial paintings in Uda Viharaya were created by the renowned artist Devaragampala Silvath Thena from the Kandyan era, while artists from the Nilagama generation completed the remaining images.
Ridi Viharaya, with its rich historical and architectural significance, stands as a testament to the enduring legacy of Buddhism in Sri Lanka.
அடிக்கடி கேட்கப்படும் கேள்விகள்
Q1: How old is Ridi Viharaya?
A1: Ridi Viharaya dates back to the 2nd century BCE, over 2,000 years old.
Q2: Who built Ridi Viharaya?
A2: Ridi Viharaya was built during the reign of Dutthagamani of Anuradhapura, an ancient Sinhalese king of Sri Lanka.
Q3: What is the significance of Ridi Viharaya?
A3: Ridi Viharaya is significant for its association with the discovery of silver ore, which contributed to the completion of Ruwanwelisaya, one of the largest stupas in Sri Lanka.
Q4: What are some notable structures within the Ridi Viharaya complex?
A4: Some notable structures within the Ridi Viharaya complex include Serasum Gala, Waraka Welandu Viharaya, Hevisi Mandapaya, Maha Viharaya, and Uda Viharaya.
Q5: Are there any unique sculptures or paintings in Ridi Viharaya?
A5: Ridi Viharaya houses unique sculptures such as the Pancha Nari Ghataya and ivory lion carvings. The cave walls are adorned with paintings depicting incidents from the life of Gautama Buddha.