Friday, July 9, 2021

Dodanwala Devalaya

Dodanwala Devalaya
Photo credit: Google street view

Dodanwala Devalaya is a Devalaya shrine situated in Dodamwala village in Kandy District, Sri Lanka. It has been dedicated to God Natha, a local deity who was highly venerated by the people along with other deities such as Visnu, Skanda, and Pattini during the Kandyan Period. Natha is considered as one of the deities of the Mahayana Buddhist pantheon and people believe him as an aspirant Buddha

History
The history of this site runs back to the reign of King Rajasinghe II [(1635-1687 A.D.) Abeyawardana, 2004; Rajapakse, 2016; Seneviratna & Polk, 1992]. According to folklore, King Rajasinghe II who was on the way to Balana to give battle to the Portuguese encountered a problem in his palanquin while passing the present Devala premises. After getting down from the palanquin, the king inquired what the place was and was informed that it was the premises of Nahimige Kovila shrine [(or Nahami Gambara Devalaya) Abeyawardana, 2004; Rajapakse, 2016; Seneviratna & Polk, 1992]. By thinking the problem that occurred in his palanquin as an act of the god of this shrine, the king made a vow that if he succeeded in the battle he would present his crown and jewels to the the shrine in his way back to the palace (Abeyawardana, 2004; Rajapakse, 2016; Seneviratna & Polk, 1992). The king won the battle and the vow was fulfilled. After that, this shrine was begun to known as Dodanwala Devalaya (Rajapakse, 2016; Seneviratna & Polk, 1992).

The crown that was presented to this Devalaya by Rajasinghe II was kept on the display in the Kandy National Museum until it was stolen in 1961.

The shrine
The shrine is similar in appearance to the Visnu Devalaya at Kandy (Abeyawardana, 2004). It contains 4 sections; the Devalaya, Garbha-gruha, Antaralaya, and Mandapaya (Rajapakse, 2016). Some paintings and sculptures of the Kandyan Period are found in the Garbha-gruha (Rajapakse, 2016).

A protected site
The Dodanwala Devalaya situated in Yatinuwara Divisional Secretary’s Division is an archaeological protected monument, declared by a government notification published on 16 July 1948.

References
1) Abeyawardana, H.A.P., 2004. Heritage of Kandurata: Major natural, cultural and historic sites. Colombo: The Central Bank of Sri Lanka. p.91.
2) Rajapakse, S., 2016. Pauranika Sthana Ha Smaraka: Mahanuwara Distrikkaya (In Sinhala). Archaeological Department of Sri Lanka. ISBN:955-9159-34-8. pp.85-86.
3) Seneviratna, A. and Polk, B., 1992. Buddhist monastic architecture in Sri Lanka: the woodland shrines. Abhinav Publications. p.125.
4) The government gazette notification. No: 9886. 16 July 1948.

Location Map
This page was last updated on 9 July 2021
For a complete tourist map follow this link: Lankapradeepa Tourist Map

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