Kandegama Kanda Viharaya

Kandegama Kanda ancient Stupa
Kandegama Kanda Len Viharaya, also known as Kandegama Archaeological Site (Sinhala: කන්දෙගම කන්ද ලෙන් විහාරය), is a Buddhist temple situated at the foot of the Danigala Mountain in Polonnaruwa District, Sri Lanka.

Kandegama is a site that reveals archaeological evidence of the Anuradhapura Period and beyond. The drip-ledged caves with Early Brahmi Inscriptions prove that the history of this temple runs back to the pre-Christian era (Paranavitana, 1970).
Period: 3rd century B.C.-1st century A.D.           Script: Early Brahmi           Language: Old Sinhala
Transcript: Parumaka Digatisha puta par(u)maka Gutasha lene.
Translation: The cave of the chief Gutta, son of the chief Dighatissa.
Citation: Paranavitana, 1970. p.23.

Many dilapidated structures in the early part of the Anuradhapura Period can be seen in the open air at the foot of the hill. They include the ruins of ancient monastery buildings, Pohoya houses, Buddha statues, Stupas and tank walls.

The ancient Stupa at Kandegama Viharaya was conserved by the Polonnaruwa Project of the Central Cultural Fund after the excavations carried out in 2017. This Stupa is considered unique as it has only two Pesa rings while all other Stupas in the country have 3 Pesa rings. It has been built on an artificial platform and two flights of steps provide access to it from the south and west directions.

The reclining Buddha statue
There is a 5.4 m long reclining statue of Buddha in an upper cave of the hill of the Kandegama Kanda temple (Wikramagamage, 2004). Made of brick and clay, it is similar to the statues found at Pidurangala, Habessa and Nikawewa (Wikramagamage, 2004).

Kandegama Kanda Buddha statue .
1) Paranavitana, S., 1970. Inscription of Ceylon (Vol. I). Department of Archaeology Ceylon. pp.23-24.
2) Wikramagamage, C., 2004. Heritage of Rajarata: Major natural, cultural and historic sites. Colombo. Central Bank of Sri Lanka. p.252.

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This page was last updated on 27 May 2023

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