wikimedia.org - Wikimedia
Lankathilaka Viharaya is one of the oldest image houses in Sri Lanka. According to the copper plaque in the temple it has been a four storied building with a height of 80 rayanas (length from elbow to middle finger), however having undergone various destructions have been later reconstructed as a two storied building after having. The temple was designed by a South Indian architect named Sathapati Rayar. The temple has inherited elements of Sinhalese architecture from Polonnaruwa Era, but also has influenced from Dravidian and Indo Chinese styles. The temple has amazing wall and ceiling paintings from the Kandyan Era and a large Buddha statue influenced by South Indian Pallawa styles.
Compared to the Buddha statues from the Anuradhapura or Polonnaruwa Era, the Lankathilaka statue has wide open eyes, a long nose and a wide face. It is also believed that the tusks kept beside the main Buddha statue are of the Kadol Etha (Kandula Elephant) the royal Elephant of King Dutugemunu.
Besides the image house there is a small Dagoba and a relatively large rock inscription written in both Sinhala and Tamil. The inscription contains information about the initiators and facilities of the temple.
Within the premises there are five shrines dedicated to the Gods, Upulvan, Ganesh, Saman, Vibhishana and Kumara Bandara. God Kumara Bandara is believed to be the guardian god of the Lankathilaka Temple. These shrines are believed to be used by the South Indian concubines of the Kings.
The temple has a few steps to climb on the rocks, it is good to wear socks as you have to walk barefooted. Evenings or the morning are best to visit, and wear appropriate clothing, white is most preferred. There is an entrance ticket to the temple.