Dewundara Devalaya is situated in the little town of Devinuwara which means the “City of the Gods”. The meaning of Dewundara Devalaya is “The temple in the city of Gods”. Devinuwara is also referred to as “Dondra head” in English.
It is believed that Dewundara Devalaya was built by King Dappula I in the 7th century. There was an attack by the Portuguese army which was led by Thome De Sonza in 1587 who destroyed and plundered valuables in the places of worship. However, Rajadhi Rajasinghe who ruled the Kandyan kingdom at that time was successful in managing to free Matara from the enemy and built a Devale at Devinuwara for deity Vishnu.
Devinuwara has been a busy seaport and a most renowned place of pilgrimage and worship in the 13th-15th centuries. It had a magnificent temple with a roof of copper flashing far into the sea, and it used to be of help to those who sailed in the Indian Ocean.
According to a legend, Devinuwara was a flourishing city in the time of King Rawana who is connected to the story of Ramayana. Also in Mahawamsa, it is mentioned that “Upulvan Deiyo” also known as Vishnu was selected as the guardian to protect the land of Sri Lanka and Buddhism at the time of Buddha’s passing away.
Go on McCallum Road and continue straight onto Colombo – Katunayake Expressway and merge onto Southern Expressway. Take the Akuressa exit and turn right onto Beach Road Matara. Turn right onto Colombo-Hambantota Road to reach your destination.
Turn right onto Sri Dharmarathna Mawatha and turn right onto Beach Road Matara. Turn right onto Colombo – Galle Road to reach your destination.
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