Sri Dalada Maligawa Important Locations
New Entrance (Nawa Wahalkada)
Wahalkada or Wasalkada was a gateway or an etrance to a special area or premises. The temple of the sacred Tooth Relic had two Wahalkadas, namely "Nava Wahalkada" and "Maha wahalkada".
The Nava (new) Wahalkada and (gateway) had been constructed in recent times. When entering through the contre of the city, the gateway just in the front of the Queen's Hotel was the new gateway. This had been contructed in accordance with the Up country architectural features.
Paththirippuwa (The Octagon)
It was a well known fact that the paththirippuwa , which had been considered as the symbol of identity of the of the Kandyan Architecture was built in 1802 A.D on the instructions of kings Sri Wickrama Rajasinhe., who was the last king of Nayakkar Lineage (1798-1815 A.D). The name derived from the Tamil Language, meant as the place of this great construction was a master craftsman named Devendra Moolacharya. Out of his construction Magul Maduwa or the pavilion held a prominent place.
According to tradition he had born in Matale, was staying for some time in Kotmale and finally lived in Handessa, till his tragic death which had taken place as a suicide for feeling ashamed of losing one of his fingers on the orders of king, who listened to slander against this great craftsman. This building a master piece of Kandyan Architecture was octagonal in shape and the roof was an attractive creation with a steep gradient.
During the bomb blast by the LTTE terrorist on 25th of January 1998 A.D, aimed to destroy the Buddhist Heritage the paththirippuwa too faced damage. It was pleasure to see the reconstruction of the building. The patronage of the Minister in charge of the Harbor should be appreciated. Concrete mortar and plaster were pumped to the cracked and vibrated walls through novel technological methods to strengthen the building. Reconstruction work had in no way obstructed strength of the ancient building and it had been a great pleasure too.
The Moat (Diya Agala)
Between the Statues of elephant on either side of moonstone and the Mahawahalkada is narrow open strip. It is surrounded by a short perimeter wall. The moat here is a protective measure for Dalada Maligawa. Rising out of the foundation of Pattirippu, the octagon shaped building, the water runs around the structure. The moat, fed originally from nearby Kandy Lake in the ancient times, is believed to have extended up to the temple of Vishnu.
The Outer wall surrounding the moat had been built to the shape of floating clouds. In upper part access had been provided for keeping lighted clay lamps. The wall had taken the shape of waves in a sea. A high wall had been built at the inner side of the moat.
The moat was filled with the water of the Nuwara Wewa (Kiri Sayura) extended from the Dalada Maligawa up to the Vishnu Devalaya.
King Sri Wickrama Rajasinghe was instrumental in building the moat and it was done for the protection of the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic. There had been a foldable bridge across the moat but it had been replaced by a bridge completed by rocks.
Ambarawa was equivalant to a tunnel. The length was 29 feet and 08 inches while the breath was 8 feet.
The upper part was attractively decorated by lotuses and creepers. The figures of 8 males who had worn (thupppotttiya) a dress of the male nobles with their bare bodies were visible. The paintings seen were drawn in the recent past. One could enter the 'Hevisi Mandapaya' when ascending the flight of steps passing the moon stone inside the ambarawa.
Recently a renevation of the Ambarawa has conducted by Sr Dalada Maligawa.
Wada sitina Maligawa
One could see the ancient ‘Vada Sitina Maligawa’ or the real chamber where the sacred Tooth Relic had been kept with utmost honor, in front of the Hewisi Mandapaya. This Vada Sitina Maligawa had two storey’s namely upper and lower storey. Just in front of the lower storey one could see a moon stone. The name ‘sandagala’ too was used to it. One could see 3 lotuses in that moonstone. The lotus at middle was big while the other two on both sides were small. When looking at the front one could see a makara thorana carved out of stones and a silver door finished with attractive carvings.
The pride and the arrogance of the Temple of sacred tooth relic were displayed by the figures of two lions with mouths gaped carved in stone on both sides of the flight of steps and the two large couple of tusks. This vahalkada or gateway was known as gateway tusk. These were two doors from south and North and were used as entrances to the lower storey. But these doors were not generally kept open. The encircling verandah in the lower storey was constructed about 48 inches above the stone paved compound. On the encircling verandah 12 in * 12 in* ½ in. marbles were fitted. There were twenty six columns around the ‘Vada Stitna Maligawa’ or the ‘Chamber of Tooth Relic’. On these stone columns in a space of about one foot and eight inches paintings were done and colored. Various pieces of art and paintings were done on the ceiling and the walls of the lower storey.
As soon as one entered through the silver door of the lower storey on could reach the old ‘diggeya’ the long hall used daily by drummers for the ‘great offering’ or ‘Thevava’. Inside it were several alymyrahs in which valuable antiques or curios were placed. The ceiling had been decorated with paintings. The traditional or customary chair (Vatha putuwa) which was placed on the back of the elephant to be carried in the ‘Perahera’ or procession had been kept for protection in the ‘diggeya’. Inside it one could see a room separated by a door in a granite pandol of a makara or mythical fish. It was named as ‘maha aramudala’ or store room. Just in front of it was an ancient ‘diggeya’. The flight of steps made out of wood provided access from the lower storey to the upper storey. Entrance through this passage along the wooden flight of steps had only been provided to ‘Mahasangha’, assisting staff or the staff attendance to the ‘thevava’ and the special guest.
When proceeding further through the ambarawa one could reach the ‘Hewisi Mandapaya’ or the drummer’s platform or dais. When the great offering to the sacred tooth relic or the ‘Thevava’ was done, one could the way of Hewisi Poojawa or the offering of Hewisi or the drums using the five kinds of musical instruments of the up country tradition. It had been conducted daily. The upper roof had been supported by 20 stone columns 10 each side.
These massive stone columns were carved, created and reconstructed during the service of Diyawadana Nilame K.B Nugawela. Pillar caps(pekada) at the top of the stone columns were attractive. One could see three large brass lamps or Dolos Maha Pahan which were lighted through the 12 months of the year.
From right side of the Hewisi Mandapaya one could enter the ‘Image House’ in the lower storey, and paththirippuwa (octagon) from where the king could watch the various festivals held. From the left side near the chaitya these steps could be used to enter the old ‘Diggeya’ the long hall used daily by drummer’s for the ‘great offering’ of thevava.
When you Entered to the Hewisi Mandapayay you can hear the "Thevava" one could the way of Hewisi Poojawa or the offering of Hewisi or the drums using the five kinds of musical instruments of the up country tradition. It had been conducted daily