Rakkhiththa Kanda Viharaya

Rakkhiththa Kanda Viharaya
Photo credit: Pasindu Galgomuwa, Google street view

Rakkhiththakanda Raja Maha Viharaya (Sinhala: රක්ඛිත්තකන්ද විහාරය) is a Buddhist temple situated in Kurugama village in Monaragala District, Sri Lanka. The way to the famous Kurullangala prehistoric site is fallen through this temple.

As the presence of drip-ledged caves with early-Brahmi inscriptions, the history of this site runs back to the pre-Christian era. The caves of this have been used as the abodes of Buddhist monks since the early part of the Anuradhapura Period.

Rakkhithakanda cave inscription
Period: 2nd-1st centuries B.C.                    Script: Early Brahmi                    Language: Old Sinhala
Transcript: Budarakita terasha lene
Translation: The cave of Venerable Buddharakkhita
Reference: The information board at the site by the Department of Archaeology and the State Ministry of Cultural Affairs.

During the Kandyan Period, the main cave of this temple was converted into an image house and the paintings and sculptures of the Kandyan tradition are found in it. As mentioned on the wall, this temple has undergone renovation on 22 October 1886 (Prabuddha, 2018).

A protected site
The drip-ledged cave temple and the Stupa of Rakkhithakanda Purana Vihara situated in Kurugama village, in Wellawaya Divisional Secretary’s Division are archaeological protected monuments, declared by a government gazette notification published on 22 November 2002.

1) Prabuddha, G.M.S., 2018. රක්ඛිතාකන්ද පුරාණ ලෙන් විහාරයේ සිතුවම්වල දක්නට ඇති යටත්විජිත ලක්ෂණ. URSARU, Department of Archaeology & Heritage Management. University of Rajarata. pp.39-41.
2) The Gazette of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. No: 1264. 22 November 2002.

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This page was last updated on 17 January 2023
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