Alawathugoda Saman Devalaya

Alawathugoda Saman Devalaya is a Devalaya Shrine situated in Alawatugoda village. It has been dedicated to the Buddhist deity Sumana Saman Deviyo.
Alawathugoda Saman Devalaya

Alawathugoda Saman Devalaya (Sinhala: අලවතුගොඩ සමන් දේවාලය) is a Devalaya Shrine situated in Alawatugoda village in Kandy District, Sri Lanka. It has been dedicated to God Sumana Saman, a Buddhist deity who is the patron of Sri Pada Mountain (Lawrie, 1896). 


According to the belief of locals, Valagamba (103, 89-77 B.C.) of Anuradhapura had used this place as a hiding spot during the period of the Tamil invasion (Rajapakse, 2016; Senanayaka, 2018). A Buddhist Vihara is believed to have existed here with the possession of a Sannasa granted by King Valagamba and this Sannasa is said to have been lost in the rebellion of 1818 (Lawrie, 1896). The present Devalaya shrine for God Saman was erected later by a Kandyan King as a distance view of the sacred Sri Pada mountain can be obtained from this spot (Abeyawardana, 2004). During the reign of King Kirti Sri Rajasinghe (1747-1782 A.D.), the annual Perahera ceremony of the Devalaya was started (Abeyawardana, 2004). The Viharaya stood aside the Devalaya was burnt down later by a party of British soldiers from Trincomalee on leaving the place where they had halted (Lawrie, 1896; Seneviratna, 1983).

The Site

The Devalaya shrine stands on a mass of bare granite which rises a few feet from the surrounding land. It is a small and windowless building built of mud (Lawrie, 1896). Inside the shrine are two wooden presses, one containing a figure of Saman and the other of Visnu (Lawrie, 1896). Except for that shrine, a Stupa, a two-storeyed Viharaya building and a Bo tree can be found at the site. Several stone pillars which are believed to be the remains of ancient Buddhist Viharaya at this place are presently given evidence for the antiquity of this site (Abeyawardana, 2004).

Immediately below the Devalaya shrine, growing from a hollow in the rock, is a large Bo tree which is said to conceal the entrance to a cave or Potgula where sacred books were buried (Lawrie, 1896).

A Protected Site

The Alawatugoda Saman Devale premises and its ancient buildings and other archaeological remains situated within the limits of Alawatugoda Grama Niladhari Division in the Akurana Divisional Secretary’s Division are archaeological protected monuments, declared by a government notification published on 8 April 2009.


1) Abeyawardana, H.A.P., 2004. Heritage of Kandurata: Major natural, cultural and historic sites. Colombo: The Central Bank of Sri Lanka. p.105.
2) Lawrie, A.C., 1896. A Gazetteer of the Central Province of Ceylon (excluding Walapane) (Vol. 1). GJA Skeen, Government Printer, Ceylon. pp.12-13.
3) Rajapakse, S., 2016. Pauranika Sthana Ha Smaraka: Mahanuwara Distrikkaya (In Sinhala). Archaeological Department of Sri Lanka. ISBN:955-9159-34-8. pp.143-144.
4) Senanayaka, P., 2018. Senkadagala Mahanuwara pradeshaye peranima Bauddha Vihara Arama (In Sinhala). Samodhana, The Journal of Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities. Vol.7 (1). pp.55-83.
5) Seneviratna, A, 1983. Kandy: An Illustrated Survey of Ancient Monuments, with Historical, Archaeological, and Literary Descriptions Including Maps of the City and Its Suburbs. Central Cultural Fund. Ministry of Cultural Affairs. p.158.
6) The Gazette of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. No: 1597. 8 April 2009. p.445.


1) This image (Alawathugoda Saman Devalaya, Akurana 002) has been released into the public domain by its creator, අනුරාධ.

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This page was last updated on 7 November 2022

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