Degaldoruwa Raja Maha Vihara

Degaldoruwa Raja Maha Vihara

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Degaldoruwa Raja Maha Vihara

Amongst the rocky slopes and green valleys of rural Kandy lies a hidden treasure the Degaldoruwa Raja Maha Vihara. The construction of the temple began in the late 1770s under the reign of King Kirti Sri Rajasinha. It was completed under the reign of Rajadhi Rajasinha years later.

History of the location

According to folklore a farmer was exploring the area and found a crevice between two rocks. He started to venture into space he found a cave with a pile of golden sickles. The farmer was happy with his discovery but feared other people meddling with it. So he simply took only one sickle every morning and after using it in his fields, he returned it in the evening back to its place. His fields yielded a very healthy and large amount of harvest so the farmer attributed it to the golden sickle. But then he became greedy. After all, he had been taking the sickles every day and there had been no ill effects; and there was a whole pile of them. So on the very last day of the harvest, he took two sickles instead of one and did not return one of them.

But unknown to the farmer, there had indeed been a guardian for the treasure. The guardian noticed the farmer taking the sickles, but kept quiet as he always returned them. On the day that the farmer took one sickle for himself, the guardian saw it at once and confronted him in his home. The terrified farmer immediately rushed to the crevice and returned the golden sickle that he had stolen. The guardian, who had been disappointed, then sealed the crevice by fusing the two rocks. However, the villagers got to know this story and informed the king, Kirti Sri Rajasinha, who then ordered that the cave be found and built a temple in it.

About the destination

It is famous for the magnificent paintings that adorn its walls and one can be forgiven for losing track of time amidst these colorful examples of ancient Kandyan art. The cave is hollowed out of a rock which has a height of 40 feet, and shelters the Shrine Room and an entrance area. The information on the construction of Degaldoruwa Raja Maha Vihara is found on the Degaldoruwa Tamba Sannasa (Copper Plate).

How to reach

From Colombo

Go on McCallum Road and T. B. Jayah Mawatha to Maradana Road. Then take the Colombo – Kandy Road to Gannoruwa Road, Hector Kobbekaduwa Mawatha. Go on Gannoruwa Road to Colombo – Kandy Road.

Then go on Dharmashoka Mawatha. Continue on Dharmashoka Mawatha. Take Sirimalwatta – Amunugama – Madawala Road to Degaldoruwa Temple Road.

From Kandy

You have to go on Baladaksha Mawatha to Getambe Kandy By-Pass. Turn right onto Colombo – Kandy Road and continue straight onto Sirimalwatta – Yakgahapitiya – Menikhinna Road. Turn right onto Dharmashoka Mawatha to reach your destination.