Asgiriya maha viharaya

North from the lake is situated the Asgiri Maha Viharaya, the other monastic centre of the Siyam Nikaya. This temple is believed to be considerably older ‘than the Malwatu Viharaya and the “Asgiriya Talpata” voices this claim.

Asgiri Maha Viharaya was founded by Commander Siriwardhana at the inquest of Parakramabahu IV of Kurunegala (1305-1335 A.D.). The original buildings were set up in the Trinity College premises. The bhikkhus to take up residence here was sent from Valasgala hermitage in Yapahuva. The name Valasgala is translated into Pali as “Acchagiri” and the present Sinhalese name Asgiri is derived from it. According to another legend Asgiri was named after the mother queen of Vikramabahu who was cremated in the present cremation ground or Adahana Maluva at Asgiriya.

It is said that she built a temple called “Talagahamulla Viharaya” which later became the “Asgiri Viharaya”. At present the Asgiri Temple Complex is called “Heyagiri Wijesundararama”. Heyagiri is a erroneously translation in to Sinhalese the pali word Acchagiri. During the last king of Kandy, His Commander-in-Chief Urulewatte Wijesundara Rajakaruna Seneviratne built a new temple near the old one and the whole temple complex became to known as “Heyagiri Wijesundararama"


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