Badulla Kataragama and Pattini Devala

Badulla Kataragama and Pattini Devalas
Badulla Kataragama Devalaya and Pattini Devalaya (Sinhala: බදුල්ල කතරගම හා පත්තිනි දේවාල) are two Devala Shrines situated in the middle of Badulla town in Sri Lanka. Presently, they are located adjacent to each other on the same site but have been gazetted as two archaeological monuments.

Having features belonging to the Kandyan Period, the Badulla Kataragama Devalaya is considered an establishment by King Vimaladharmasuriya I [(1590-1604 A.D.) Priyadarshani & Gunasena, 2017 ]. It is also believed that this temple was originally set up at a place called Kottegoda (Priyadarshani & Gunasena, 2017).

The buildings at Devalaya premises were burnt down by the Portuguese general Constantino de Sa in 1630, but subsequently restored and reendowed by King Rajasinha II [(1635-1687 A.D.) Malalgoda, 1976; Pieris, 1950].

The Devala complex
The temple complex is built on three levels (Priyadarshani & Gunasena, 2017). At the entrances of the second and third levels, stone-made steps accompanied by Sandakada Pahana (moonstones) are found.

Kataragama Devalaya
Kataragama Devalaya
The main shrine, the Kataragama Devalaya is found on the third level of the temple complex. The shrine has been dedicated to God Kataragama, a Sinhalese deity who is considered one of the patron deities of the Buddha Sasana in Sri Lanka.

The Kataragama Devalaya building is about 165 ft long and 23 ft wide and has been built as a two-story structure (Priyadarshani & Gunasena, 2017). Two figures of the deity Kataragama and his wife are found placed inside the shrine. These figures are said to be made of timber and coated with plaster (Priyadarshani & Gunasena, 2017). The outer walls of the first story are adorned with paintings depicting a procession (Priyadarshani & Gunasena, 2017). The outer walls of the second story are decorated mainly with the figures of deities. The roof of the Devalaya has been tiled with flat clay tiles.

The kitchen of the shrine is located on the right side of the Kataragama Devalaya building.

Pattini Devalaya
The Pattini Develaya
The Pattini Develaya is also believed to be a contemporary structure of the Kataragama Devalaya and has been erected for Goddess Pattini, the patron deity of fertility and health (Priyadarshani & Gunasena, 2017).

The Devalaya building consists of two parts: the inner shrine and the vestibule. The inner shrine contains the figure of Goddess Pattini and its front entrance is guarded by two images of guardians. The wooden pillars in the vestibule part are octagon in shape and have four-sided medial panels. The roof of the Devalaya is tiled with semi-cylindrical roof tiles (Sinhala Ulu).

Sinhasana Mandapaya (Chamber of the Throne)
Sinhasana Mandapaya
Facing each other, the Sinhasana Mandapaya building is located in front of the Kataragama Devalaya building. This structure is believed to be the depositary where the weapons of the deity taken during the annual procession are kept.

The building is 20 ft long and 20 ft wide (Priyadarshani & Gunasena, 2017). The four-sided roof is tiled with semi-cylindrical roof tiles and held by wooden pillars. The wooden pillars are exquisitely carved with various decorations (Priyadarshani & Gunasena, 2017).

A protected site
The Kataragama Devalaya belonging to the land plot no.198 in the Badulla City Plan no. 13 is an archaeological protected monument, declared by a government notification published on 23 March 1952.

The Sri Pattini Dewala premises in Badulla town and its ancient buildings and other archaeological remains situated within the limits of Badulla Grama Niladhari Division in the Badulla Divisional Secretary’s Division are archaeological protected monuments, declared by a government gazette notification published on 8 April 2009.

Kataragama Devalaya stone-made steps accompanied by Sandakada Pahana Paintings Badulla Devalas
1) Malalgoda, K., 1976. Buddhism in Sinhalese society, 1750-1900: a study of religious revival and change. Univ of California Press. p.109.
2) Pieris, P.E., 1950. Sinhale and the patriots, 1815-1818. Colombo The Colombo Apothecaries. p.61.
3) Priyadarshani, S.A.N.; Gunasena, I.P.P., 2017. Pauranika Sthana Ha Smaraka: Badulla Distrikkaya (In Sinhala). Department of Archaeology. ISBN: 955-9159-48-8. pp.39-40.
4) The government notification. No: 10395. 23 March 1952.
5) The Gazette of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. No: 1597. 8 April 2009. p.446.

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This page was last updated on 22 September 2023

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