Aluthgama Kande Viharaya

Aluthgama Kande Viharaya is famous for its gigantic Buddha statue unveiled in 2017. It has a history running back to the reign of Kirti Sri Rajasingha
Not to be confused with Kande Viharaya, Opanayaka and Kande Viharaya, Gorakana

Kande Viharaya, Aluthgama
Kande Viharaya (Sinhala: අළුත්ගම කන්දෙ විහාරය) is a famous Buddhist temple located in the village of Aluthgama in Kalutara District, Sri Lanka.

The history of Kande Viharaya is going back to the reign of King Kirti Sri Rajasingha [(1747-1782 A.D.) Abeyawardana, 2002]. It is said that Ven. Karapagala Thera renovated this temple (Abeyawardana, 2002).

The giant Buddha
In 2007, a gigantic Samadhi Buddha statue depicting the Bhoomisparsha-mudra was unveiled at the Kande Viharaya temple premises.

Muthu Raja Elephant incident
Muthu Raja is an elephant given by Thailand Government in 2001 to then Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga with the understanding that it will be the carrier of the casket of Buddha relics at the annual Esela Perahera pageant of the Temple of the Tooth. However, the elephant was diverted to Kande Viharaya where it spent its life for more than 2 decades. 

The elephant was demanded back to its country again by the Thai Government when several animal rights activists petitioned them in 2022 regarding the mistreatment that the elephant received under the temple authorities. As a result of this, the Sri Lankan Government who had to obey the adamant demand of the Thai Government took necessary arrangements to send back the elephant to its home country on 2 July 2023.

Image house
The image house of Kande Viharaya is considered an important monument. It mainly consists of three parts; the inner chamber, the outer chamber, and the front facade (De Silva & Chandrasekara, 2009). The inner chamber which is said to be the oldest part of this image house has been built during the Kandyan Period (De Silva & Chandrasekara, 2009).

The inner walls and the ceilings of the image house have been painted with various sculptures and murals of Buddhist tradition such as Buddha statues, and Jataka stories. Besides them, several images of gods including Vishnu, Natha, Iswara and Ananga are found in the Devalaya Shrine (the shrine of the gods of the Buddhist pantheon). Among these, the statue of God Vishnu who is in a sitting posture is considered a rare piece of work (De Silva & Chandrasekara, 2009).

The front facade of the image house contains some of the striking architectural features of the Dutch and British (De Silva & Chandrasekara, 2009). The ornamental columns, decorative floral designs and sculptures of animal figures have increased its architectural value.

A protected site
The octagon-shaped building with ancient paintings at the premises of Kande Vihara belonging to Kaluwamodara village situated in Grama Niladhari Division, Kaluwamodaya in the Divisional Secretary’s Division, Beruwala is an archaeological protected monument, declared by a government Gazette notification published on 9 March 2016.

1) LK-aluthgama-kande-vihara-tempel by Balou46 is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0

1) Abeyawardana, H.A.P., 2002. Heritage of Sabaragamuwa: Major natural, cultural and historic sites. Sabaragamuwa Development Bank and The Central Bank of Sri Lanka. ISBN: 955-575-077-7. p.108.
2) De Silva, N.; Chandrasekara, D.P., 2009. Heritage Buildings of Sri Lanka. Colombo: The National Trust Sri Lanka, ISBN: 978-955-0093-01-4.  p.68.
3) The Gazette of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka (Extraordinary). No: 1957/18. 9 March 2016. p.4A

Location Map
This page was last updated on 2 July 2023

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