Sri Natha Devale

Sri Natha Devale

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Sri Natha Devale

This temple was built way back in the past and is considered to be the oldest building in Kandy. It is dedicated to Natha, a god of Indian origin considered to be one of four protectors of the Tooth Relic. It is one of the two visible temples in Temple Square.

About the location

The temple consists of 3 floors. It has a crowning vaulted roof. There are two other stupas and recent studies have found the existence of another stupa making the total to be three stupas.

The nearest stupa of the temple has the remains of the bowl that contains the sacred tooth which is believed to have been broken by relic hunters back in 1889.

At this devale, Natha is venerated as Senkadagala Devindu (the god of Senkadagala, or Kandy), due to a legendary link with the establishment of the kingdom of Kandy. The main shrine itself is built in the architectural form of a gedige and carries a decorative frieze around the base of the vaulted roof above the inner sanctum. This feature is not found anywhere else in Sri Lanka and says a traditional legend about the selection of Kandy as the capital city.

It was selected for this purpose, according to the legend, during the declining years of the Gampola kingdom, it was the site of a miracle: a spot where a hermit had witnessed a hare being hunted by a jackal, then turned on his pursuer making the hunter become the hunted.

History of the location

The temple was built by King Vickramabahu III and it repeats the fundamentals of the Dravidian architecture. Buddhism and Hinduism are connected at this Kandy’s devale, which is dedicated to the god Natha. This temple was a site of the ceremonial ordination of Sri Lanka’s ancient kings.

How to reach your destination

From Colombo

Go on McCallum Road and enter the Colombo-Katunayake Expressway from Colombo. Take the exit toward the outer circular expressway and turn right onto Colombo-Kandy road to continue for 90.8 km.

Turn left onto Gannoruwa Road and turn right onto S.W.R.D.Bandaranayake Mawatha. Turn left on Sangaraja Mawatha to reach your destination.

From Kandy

You have to go on Baladaksha Mawatha to Getambe Kandy By-Pass. At the roundabout, take onto Kandy Road. Then turn to the left Sangaraja Mawatha.