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Benthara Galapatha Raja Maha Vihara

Benthara, Benthara, South Coast, Sri Lanka.
Location : Benthara
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Overview
The Benthara Galapatha Raja Maha Vihara lies close to the Bentota River. The pathway leading to this temple goes through a stone archway off a stone doorway with two upright monolithic pillars on either side and another two above and below.
On those standing pillars are carved elaborate, Nari Latha motifs. These decorative carvings of great aesthetic value date back to the Kandyan period.
These fascinating Nari Latha carvings come out of a hoary myth spun around the Rishis of the Himalayas, linked to a fabulous climbing creeper named Nari Latha, which when it blossoms, takes the shape of an enticing damsel. These clusters of flowers are said to have even mesmerised the Rishis, disturbing their meditation.
The pilimage, lying in the Vihara premises; on the gable overhead are figures of two elephants and two lions embossed on it.
The stone door frame and its standing pillars had been originally installed at the Bentota Udakotuwa Raja Maha Vihara in the Kali Devale. In later years, it was brought to the Galapatha temple.
Surpassing them all is a unique archaeological object – galperanaya (stone water filter), made out of some quality of stone having porous properties to absorb the water filled into it.

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